Clare Woman Uses Time In Retirement To Change Lives - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Clare Woman Uses Time In Retirement To Change Lives

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Many people make their biggest impact in the world during their career, but one Northern Michigan woman says it’s her time spent in retirement that is truly changing lives.

Friend is the job title Karen Jones took on when she became a MidMichigan homecare volunteer.

Years ago when Karen's mother fell sick, she says there were two hospice nurses that helped make the pain bearable; “These two ladies made such a difference in my life, they helped us through everything they prepared us for what was to come  and I just felt from that point on that I wanted to do this someday for someone else.”

Today Karen is retired and using her new free time to volunteer with hospice every week.

She says her visits are never the same; “t's like whatever the mood is the day you walk into the room you can sense, sometimes they just want to sleep and want you to hold their hand.”

There are two women Karen talks with specifically, Marg who tells her wild stories of her personal past and Eileen who Karen says rarely speaks at all; “A lot of times she will not say a word to me. So one day she starts singing what a friend I have in Jesus, and she sang two verses, thank God I knew the song!”

Because although Karen physically touches her older friends every visit, she says it's that occasional touch of laughter or song that truly connects to them; “She can't remember one thing but she could remember every word to that song, I can touch her, more so than laying my hand on her hand.”

MidMichigan home care services 13 Michigan counties and is constantly in need of volunteers.

If you'd like to help make a difference in the lives of someone like Marg or Eileen click here.