Volunteers helping make the last days better

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Recent cuts to Medicare have reduced funding for hospice care. But one Coos Bay center is hoping volunteers will continue to lend a helping hand.

Death and the dying experience are not always easy to talk about, but South Coast Hospice is an all volunteer organization that is making the process that much easier for patients and family members.

It's a non profit organization that relies on help from volunteers.

Doreen Kelly is the volunteer coordinator, and she says volunteers play a key role in the process. "Patients, what they need most often is emotional support, and that's what our volunteers provide," she said.

Ed Corell is one of those volunteers, and he says the work can be rewarding. "I love it when I go in there and they perk up and they smile."

"They become your friend, you become their friend, and it's just a very good feeling," said volunteer Linda Wilcox.

All volunteers go through an 11-week training class to help them best prepare to take care of patients in their final days.