Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Carlson
It takes a wise soul to understand the beauty and full circle of death, and Amy Carlson is one of
Carlson has served as a Midland Care Hospice Patient Care Volunteer since 2014. She lives in
Lawrence and volunteers her time in patients’ homes. She became a volunteer because she wanted
something vastly different than her full-time job as a web programmer.
Hospice care is for any age of someone dealing with a life-limiting illness, when a cure is no
longer an option with a focus on quality of life. The care comes to a patients home and includes a
care team of providers, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers to help
during an end-of-life journey.
“I am grateful to the patients that allow me into their sacred passage. This has taught me how to
live fully,” said Carlson.
Medicare certified hospice programs are required to have volunteer hours equal to at least five
percent of the hospice provider’s total patient care hours. The thinking was that, along with
maximizing healthcare resources, volunteers would help keep hospice providers community-oriented
Carlson said, “I started to notice as a respite and patient visitor, that the people I was engaged
with became very comfortable with me. I kind of figured out that it was refreshing for them to have
someone who they had no history with, in their lives. Patients and their families felt free to be
open and discuss with me things that they had shut in.”
Patient Care volunteers like Carlson tend to be good listeners, compassionate and empathetic.
During their time volunteering they visit patients in their homes to socialize, read books, play
games, share music and support family caregivers.
Being a Hospice volunteer has given Carlson the important gift of grace and living life to the
fullest. She shared, “My experiences in Hospice and death keep death at my fingertips every day,
and as such, I am far more grateful for my chance to have this life than I have ever been. Death
has a way of reminding me that we are all in the same boat.”
Volunteers are the heart of Midland Care. We can provide training to help volunteers serve in ways
that match their passions and strengths. If you want to give back, we have a place for you.
Opportunities to volunteer include patient care volunteers, administrative volunteers, teen
volunteers and Meals on Wheels volunteers. For more information please contact our volunteer
services department by calling 785-232-2044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.