Hospice is about living each day to the fullest. It's about helping individuals dying of terminal illnesses live each day to the fullest in a pain-free environment, with dignity and peace. As a hospice volunteer, you can be a part of this incredible journey.
Volunteers serve in many ways. Duties vary, but volunteers most often:
- Perform household chores.
- Run errands.
- Provide physical care (dressing, bathing, etc.).
- Listen to concerns.
- Keep the patient company.
- Provide a link to the hospice staff.
- Offer support and comfort.
During the time a volunteer is assigned to a patient/family, they usually:
- Form close bonds with patients and family members. Patients often tell volunteers things they feel they can't tell their loved ones. Family members may confide concerns to the volunteer they'd rather not share with the dying person.
- Help people communicate by encouraging each person to say what he or she needs to say. When important things go unsaid, survivors may feel guilty for a long time. Volunteers open the way for people to talk honestly.
- Grieve with the family after the patient dies. Seeing the family all the way through the patient's death is part of the volunteer's role. Volunteers may attend the funeral or memorial service. They may also be involved in bereavement support.
Hospice volunteers are special people! All volunteers are thoroughly trained and are:
- Emotionally Mature
- Comfortable talking about death and dying
While caring for others, you can find new meaning in your own life, gain greater self-knowledge, and experience satisfaction from making a difference in people's lives! Volunteers often become more focused on the parts of life that matter most.