Suncoast Hospice Volunteer Lois Phillips

Volunteering not only helps others but can keep you young at heart.

Lois Phillips, age 81, started volunteering at Suncoast Hospice 15 years ago in order to stay active after retirement. Her support and comfort for her care team patients and families includes transportation, Reiki energy work and bereavement support. She also extends Reiki to comfort her church members. What a blessing her service has been.

Read more about Phillips in part 10 of our 40th Anniversary Reflections series celebrating Suncoast Hospice’s 40 years of care and in honor of International Volunteer Day – recognizing volunteers who act to change lives around our world.

Q&A: Suncoast Hospice Volunteer Lois Phillips

What support do you provide to patients and families?

I’ve done bereavement calls for many years. I do Reiki, too. I love the work.

A lot of people ask, How can you do that? So many families have no one. I’ve met so many wonderful people, not only patients but their caregivers, too. And when people lose loved ones, sometimes I think, Wow, I hope I can handle things as well as they do. I really enjoy working with them and sometimes I think they help me more than I help them.

How do you bring comfort with Reiki?

About 14 years ago I started doing Reiki with patients. I’ve even helped my husband. He was uneasy about going into an operation and it calmed him down. Now he has a lot of sciatic pain and it’s really good for him.

Twice a month at our church we have a circle – we do Reiki or that type of healing. That has become part of our outreach. It has meant a lot to me.

Why should the community consider Suncoast Hospice and Empath Health care?

So many people wait until the last few days of life to get help. We’re trying to get people to understand that we have many services to offer.

How does volunteering help you?

My hospice and church work gives me a lot. I love what hospice does. It gave me something to do when I retired. I get so much from the people who I go visit as well as the people I work with. This is such a special part of my life. It keeps me young. I’ll be 82 next year. I feel very blessed and fortunate.

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