February Volunteer Spotlight
Posted on February 3, 2020
Hospice care can sometimes be lonely, especially if patients’ family members live far away or can’t visit as much as they would like. Volunteers help brighten patients’ days by offering extra support and companionship, reading books or listening to music.
Ross Esaki has been volunteering at Islands Hospice for the past seven months. Every two weeks, he makes his rounds, visiting patients to brighten up their day. He uses his iPhone to entertain residents and play their music requests.
One patient, Ross recalled, had a lot in common with him. “Having purchased several cars and currently working in the insurance industry, it was interesting to listen to his stories about his experiences.” They enjoyed chatting about their similar careers and interests. Other patients share with him memories from their youth or talk about their children.
“I think it is important for these patients to have someone be there for them, to listen to their stories and keep them company,” said Ross. “For most of these patients, their family members cannot be with them all day so I feel I can provide them with a listening ear and caring presence.”
When he isn’t volunteering at Islands Hospice, Ross stays active in the community. He serves on the board of directors for Hawaii Meals on Wheels, an organization dedicated to helping Oahu’s elders and individuals with disabilities preserve their independence at home by providing hot, nutritious meals.