Becoming a hospice volunteer gives you the opportunity to participate in the re-affirmation of life and its experiences for persons in the final phases of incurable illness so that they might live as comfortably as possible. The potential satisfaction that a volunteer can receive is very personal. Volunteers may even find that showing kindness and compassion for others is therapeutic for themselves.
Maintaining the Medicare Benefit. Hospices are required by law to maintain a minimum 5% match of volunteer time to employee time. This helps reduce the cost of providing hospice services, therefore helping to maintain the Medicare benefit. Many hospice volunteers get great satisfaction in knowing that they are helping preserve the Hospice Medicare Benefit for their communities.
Direct Patient Volunteers do things directly with the patient and caregiver. This may include reading to the patient, writing down memories, painting fingernails, and other activities. Volunteers can display their talents by singing to patients or playing instruments for them. Listening and giving reassurances to families is one of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering. Depending on their comfort level, volunteers may sometimes sit at the residence of a patient while the primary caregiver runs everyday errands such as picking up the mail, going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, or even getting a simple haircut. Volunteers assist the caregiver as much as the patient.
Indirect Volunteers help with clerical work in the office. They may file, answer phone calls, or address envelopes. They may also assist in mail-outs to families regarding bereavement services.
Bereavement Volunteers help families and loved ones on their journey through the grieving process. This may be done through writing letters to the family and loved ones, visiting the family, making calls, assisting in the organization of support groups for those going through a loss, or going to funerals.
I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world ~Mother Teresa
Due to the nature of our services and legal restrictions; the following is a list of actions that our volunteers do not perform
• Physically handle, move or lift a patient
• Administer drugs, set up a pill box, or pick up/deliver medicines to the patient or family
• Transport patients
• Feed patients
• Accept gifts from patients or their families
Criteria for Becoming a Hospice Volunteer
• Be emotionally mature enough to deal with the subject of death and dying
• Gain knowledge of the dying process
• Possess the ability to help others deal with and understand the process of dying
• Understand and sign the HIPAA confidentiality agreements
• Pass a background check
• Complete the eight hour volunteer training program