"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves"
_Sir James Barrie
Volunteers are a unique and essential component of hospice care. Volunteer service is offered from the patient's first admission to the Hospice program through the resolution of bereavement. Volunteer services are individualized for each patient and family. The wishes and needs of the patient and family will determine what volunteer services are provided.
Volunteers listen to concerns of the patient, keep the patient company, provide a link to the hospice staff, and provide physical care. They are a support person.
Examples of the kinds of services that volunteers offer include:
Emotional support for patient and family: friendly visits and telephone calls, listening, companionship
Spiritual support for patient and family
Occasional household chores: cleaning, laundry, meal planning and preparation, dish washing,
gardening and yard work, caring for pets
Errands: groceries, other shopping
Recreation: arts, crafts, games, read to patient, write letters
Assistance with final arrangements: funeral plans
Bereavement support: attending visitation, funerals, phone calls, notes, visits
Volunteers also support the hospice organization by: doing office and clerical work (filing, copying, telephoning, equipment cleaning, mailing, and newsletter development), fund raising, serving on committees or boards, and coordinating support services.
All of Hospice of Washington Counties volunteers must undergo a training program on caring for the terminally ill and their loved ones. Hospice of Washington County offers volunteer training classes intermittently throughout the year. The class is once a week for seven weeks and covers numerous topics pertaining to hospice care.