A cornerstone of hospice care.
At the heart of hospice philosophy is the dedication by Hospice programs to treat the patients entire family/group of loved ones. This begins at the time of admission and continues for 13 months after the patient’s death. No one team member can fulfill all of the needs of every loved one, but the presence of an active volunteer program makes it much more likely that patients and loved ones are supported thoroughly. Volunteers are an extension of the staff, and make it possible for a hospice to do more for everyone.
Volunteers bring talents that might not be possessed by anyone on the paid staff. Whether it be hairdressing, acupuncture, massage therapy, gardening, or crocheting. Those who volunteer have a variety of talents, many of which may be outside of professional skills.
Support for Patients:
- This can include visiting, reading, taking walks, writing letters, interpreting for those who do not speak English, bringing in music, and supervising therapeutic visits with pets.
- This can also include helping a patient do things they love like knitting, craft work or cooking/baking.
- Volunteers with necessary certification can also provide massage therapy or acupuncture.
Respite and Support for Family Members:
- Volunteers can assist with shopping or light household maintenance.
- Volunteers can allow family caregivers the opportunity to take care of necessary errands, exercise, or simply have some time alone.
- Volunteers can also help care for a family pet.
Bereavement Support Programs:
- Hospice volunteers can work closely with the hospice’s bereavement staff. Duties may include assisting a support group facilitator, serving refreshments, or helping with mailings to families.
Fundraising and Administrative Work:
- A volunteer with clerical skills can serve a hospice by helping in the office with administrative duties.
- Fundraising responsibilities can range from preparing mailings or thank-you letters to organizing fundraising events and contacting potential donors.
Special skills and interests:
- Notaries, barbers and beauticians often volunteer their services to patients.
- Musicians often volunteer to play for patients at home or in facilities.
- We are open to other skills.
- over the age of 18 or 21?
- high school students?.
- wait time? It is not uncommon for people whose loved one died in hospice care to want to volunteer for the hospice provider soon after the death, but most hospices require newly bereaved volunteer candidates to wait for a period of time before volunteering at the bedside.
- Background check
- Orientation and training sessions
- valid driver's license, particularly if the volunteer will be traveling to patient homes.
- Like other members of the hospice team working directly with patients and families, hospice volunteers may be required to receive vaccinations or show evidence of vaccine history or immunity to certain contagious diseases.