Meet Lauren – VNA Hospice Volunteer

As a loving mom to three young children and one on the way, Lauren Parkhurst wears many hats as that of a caregiver. As a VNA hospice volunteer, her hat may change, but her role remains the same. 
Caregiving comes naturally to Lauren, a registered nurse. After seven years of working with orthopedic patients, she’s now “retired” and stays home to raise her children. It was her intense longing for patient care that brought her to VNA Hospice. “I missed interacting with patients,” she says. “As a volunteer, I’m able to spend time with and honor people as they finish their wonderful journey on this earth.” Lauren began volunteering when she found out VNA was still utilizing volunteers throughout the pandemic.
As a hospice volunteer, one of her favorite tasks is to curate and deliver birthday “grams” to patients. After learning about the patients’ favorite things, she carefully shops for items that would be meaningful to them. “It could be socks, books, etc. Mainly, it’s something special that’s just for them,” Lauren says. The gifts are placed in a colorful bag with a balloon and delivered to the patient. Lauren also volunteers as a keepsake memory book author for patients and their families. She spends time learning about the life of the patient, such as important things that the patient will want the family to know and remember about them. After collecting stories, she’ll type her notes up and give back to the family to make any edits or corrections or add anything else. Knowing how important these books will be to the family members one day, Lauren insists that the books be flawless. Lauren donated approximately 120 hours to VNA this past year.
Lauren hopes to return to traditional patient care someday in the future. For now, we’re grateful for the time and dedication she offers as a VNA hospice volunteer. Thank you, Lauren!