Millions of people around the world have used hospice care at the end of their lives, with many choosing to receive support in their homes. Hospice programs often depend on volunteers, who are commonly trained to serve as a "friendly visitor," or to provide respite care, giving family members a break from their caretaking responsibilities.
Producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions followed two hospice volunteers in southwest Michigan — after they completed their training — and visited their very first patients.
In part two of the report, Collison and Meister follow Joe Haase and the care he provided to Preston Bennett in Niles, Mich. Preston suffers from Parkinson's disease and has symptoms of dementia.
Joe's first assignment reveals that his caretaking isn't limited to Preston; he is providing support to Preston's wife, Betty, who is often overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for her husband.