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April is National Volunteer Month-Spotlight on Mary

Posted on: 2016 04 22

As we continue to shine a spotlight on our wonderful Caregivers that volunteer, I would like to introduce you to Mary Post. She is a volunteer at the Vermont Respite House in Williston, Vermont. Mary grew up in Minnesota and has a degree in political science from Concordia College. She began the first of three Washington, DC careers on Capitol Hill working for a member of the House of Representatives. Next she was a Production Assistant for the CBS News program, Face the Nation. Lastly, she became a registered lobbyist. She met her husband on Capitol Hill and her fourth career became raising their three children. The family moved back to Vermont and Mary began her fifth career at the University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly known as Fletcher Allen Health Care), where she worked for 22 years. While at the UVM Medical Center she was a Unit Secretary for the Surgical Intensive Care department for 16 years, a Medical Assistant in the Oncology Department, and an Operating Room Assistant. While working at the hospital Mary became certified in Healing Touch and she also volunteered with Colchester Rescue as an EMT and then later with Essex Rescue. While working at the hospital, Mary had heard that Armistead was “the best” and when her daughter was in between opportunities, Mary encouraged her to work at Armistead, which she did. After retiring from the hospital, Mary began her sixth career by becoming an Armistead Caregiver in 2013. She works part time at Armistead as she is also certified in Reiki, aromatherapy, and biofield tuning. She also completed an 8 month herbalist apprenticeship with Rosemary Gladstar.   Armistead Senior Care is lucky to have Mary, she enjoys her clients and loves how each one is so different and interesting. She thinks that Armistead lives-up to our great reputation. Mary has been at the Respite House for almost 15 months and she loves it. She volunteers three hours a week every Wednesday and she is what the Respite House calls a Rover. A Rover is someone who answers the call bell for the residents. Usually the residents would like some type of comfort care: an adjustment of their pillows or beds, changing the room temperature, or wanting something to eat or drink. A Rover communicates with the nursing staff if the resident requires it. Rovers also provide companionship and a safety presence. For Mary, sitting and talking with the residents is very rewarding, she loves the person-to-person connection. In addition to direct contact with the residents, Rovers may also help with laundry, in the kitchen, maintaining the public spaces, and filling the bird feeders. She just loves everything about the Respite House, she described the atmosphere as being so relaxing and respectful. She went on to say, “It provides a beautiful time together for the resident and their family. It can be very healing and really removes stress for all.”      Mary always knew she wanted to volunteer at the Respite House, and because of her background from the hospital, death and dying have been of interest to her. Mary really appreciated the extensive training program one must go through before you volunteer; she thought it was so well-done that she even looked forward to the training's. There are many ways to volunteer at the Respite House and some that Mary shared with me include gardening and bringing in baked goods and snacks for the residents and their families. Mary says, “It just feels better to be involved in the community.” Thank you for ALL that you do, Mary, we are so happy to have you in our community! IMG_0187    

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