Hospice Volunteer Program

What Do Hospice Volunteers Do?

Our hospice volunteers spend time with patients and their loved ones. They run errands and provide caregiver relief, companionship, and supportive services. They work alongside paid staff in every area including home care, inpatient, bereavement, spiritual support, and administration. Hospice┬ácannot continue it’s work without the effort of volunteers.

A True Desire To Help

It’s important for volunteers to be

  • Caring: Volunteers focus on the needs of patients and family members, and how to best meet them.
  • Emotionally Mature: Working as a hospice volunteer can be an intense experience. Volunteers must be emotionally up to the task.
  • Comfortable Talking about Dead and Dying: Hospice workers approach death and dying in an open, direct, and practical way. This can help patients face the emotional, spiritual, and financial preparations they need to make.
  • Committed: Volunteers are as dedicated to their work as health-care professionals.
Nurse Visiting Senior Female Patient At Home

The Work of Volunteers

Hold Someone’s Hand – Provide Respite for Caregiver – Write Letters or Cards – Provide Socialization – Read to a Patient – Create Memories – Play Cards – Watch a Favorite Movie – Make Someone Smile – Provide Tender Loving Care – Look At Pictures – Lend a Listening Ear – Share Stories

Be Present

Volunteers are the backbone of the hospice team.

A Woman Holding Elderly Hands - Hospice is A Service

Volunteers allow hospice to provide services it otherwise could not offer. They form close bonds with patients and their family members. Patients and families often tell volunteers things they feel they can’t tell their loved ones and help open the way for people to talk honestly. Volunteers may also grieve with the family when the patient dies. Seeing the family all the way through the patient’s death is part of the volunteer’s role, often attending funerals and becoming involved in bereavement counseling.

Becoming a Hospice Volunteer

Volunteers are the backbone of the hospice team.

Becoming a hospice volunteer is a lot like applying for a job. The first step is the interview where you will meet with the volunteer coordinator. The coordinator will want to find out why you want to become a volunteer, your interests, your availability, and your experience with dying people. The next step after the interview is training, which covers the following:

  • The Goals and Philosophy of Hospice Care: All volunteers are taught the hospice approach to death and dying and how to put those ideas into practice.
  • The Psychological Impact of Death: Volunteers are more effective when they understand what the patient and their loved one are going through.
  • Patient Care: Training addresses a wide range of patient needs, including physical care, emotional support, emergency procedures, procedures to follow after a patient dies, and universal precautions to protect against infections.
  • Terminal Illness: Volunteers get an overview of the most common terminal illnesses. This helps them understand the disease process and its effect on the patient.
  • Communication Skills: Volunteers learn how to listen effectively. They also learn to talk openly about the issues related to death and dying.
  • Family Relationships: Learning about ways family members typically relate to one another can help volunteers deal more effectively with the individuals and issues involved.

Want to Make a Difference?