Volunteers—A Vital Part of Hospice Care

A hospice volunteer is a person to be appreciated and admired. She or he contributes that most precious of commodities: time. The time that a hospice volunteer spends with a patient, providing company and companionship, is of great value to all parties concerned: the patient, family members and other caregivers and hospice medical staff and other hospice staff.

Some hospice volunteers come from institutions where they are receiving medical training. But experience is not necessary to become a hospice volunteer. Hospices provide training to volunteers and give them the information they need to be able to provide help when and where it is needed.

What does a hospice volunteer do? She or he may visit patients on a regular basis, get to know them, be a friend. Sadly, it often occurs that a person’s longtime friends (and even some family members) do not visit when they know the patient is terminal. They may fear that they (and, perhaps, the patient) would be uncomfortable. The hospice volunteer can provide a simple human presence during what can be a lonesome journey. By talking to and listening to the patient, a volunteer can make those final days, weeks and months more meaningful.

A hospice volunteer can also provide a break for a family member or other caregiver who may need to get away from the house for a moment of relief. The volunteer can also help the caregiver by running small errands, such as picking up a bag of groceries or stopping by the dry cleaner.

Because hospice care is provided to persons who are expected to pass away in the very near future, likely prospects may be drawn away to more upbeat healthcare volunteer opportunities. Those who choose to become hospice volunteers are often people who have seen a dying family member experience the compassion of hospice care.

If you would like to know more about becoming a hospice volunteer, please call us at Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800. C.J. Bilbrey is our Volunteer Coordinator. He will be happy to talk to you and answer your questions about becoming a hospice volunteer.

To all our Hope Hospice volunteers, on behalf of patients, families, caregivers and hospice staff, we offer a since “thank you” for your efforts. You are truly appreciated!

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