How to Volunteer
Volunteers are an integral part of the Hospice at Home teams. This is an opportunity to serve individuals and families during a tender time in their lives. You will be there for them when others feel helpless and hopeless. It will be one of the most uplifting ways you'll spend your time.
How you can help
Many patients during their last days, weeks or months of their life see this period as a time of closure and reflection. They find it helpful to talk about their lives with an objective listener. Often they are more comfortable discussing events and issues with a volunteer rather than a family member, friend or healthcare provider.
In addition to visiting with the patient, your presence also gives the caregiver and family members much needed and appreciated breaks. Some volunteer activities you may do include:
What I didn't know at the time [I became a hospice volunteer] was how much I would get out of it. It's one the best things I do."
- Light housekeeping (dishes, laundry, meal preparation)
- Running errands
- Letter, life story or journal writing
- Sharing hobbies or special interests
As a volunteer you will never be expected to do something you do not want to do. So let our volunteer coordinator or your team members know if you have questions or concerns.
Specialized services provider
Your specialized talents can be a source of relief and peace-of-mind for our patients and their families. Some ways you may be able to share your skills and talents may be:
- Barber or beautician services offered in the home for patients
- Music therapy
- Writer to record life stories, memories or special thoughts
- Home repairs or improvements, including building ramps, adding railings and grab bars, painting walls, etc. in the patient's home
- Bedside singers who honor the ancient tradition of singing by the bedside to ease the patient's pain and suffering.
- Facilitator at Lory's Place to assist with peer-to-peer support sessions for children, teens and the adults in their lives. For upcoming training sessions, click here.
Hospice at Home assistant
Direct care is not the only way you can help. If you are interested in volunteering, but are not interested in working with patients, we can use your talents and skills for:
- Clerical tasks (mailings, reception, special projects)
- Helping with grief support groups
- Staffing a table at a health fair
- Writing condolence cards
- Assisting at a memorial event
- Delivering medications from the pharmacy
- Helping with computer projects
- Serving on an advisory council
Share your ideas about how you can help
You may have other ideas of ways you can help, too. For example:
- One volunteer helped patients leave videos for their family members. Some use the video to reminisce about favorite memories, some tell their life stories, some make it a love letter and others make it an ethical will.
- Employees in one workplace organized into teams. Each team "adopted" a family for the holidays. The teams made holiday meals and solicited donations from local businesses for gifts.
Be creative! Then share your ideas with us. We'd love to work with you!
How to get started
It's easy to volunteer. Just contact us. We'll meet with you to discuss ways you can help and how much time you can give. If you choose to work with patients, you'll receive extensive training before you receive your first assignment. And no matter how you choose to help, you will have a team of Hospice at Home friends ready to support and encourage you.
Want to learn more about the experience of being a hospice volunteer? Click here, for some excellent resources.