What is Volunteering for AmeraCare Family Hospice?
The involvement of volunteers in hospice palliative care programs is central to the philosophy and principles of the hospice palliative care movement. In many cases volunteers were the first in their communities to recognize the need for hospice palliative care services, to advocate for it and to develop the resource base and structure for its implementation. The delivery of AmeraCare Family Hospice services continue to function and thrive because our devoted volunteers.
Volunteers at AmeraCare Family Hospice:
- Provide consistency for clients, families and staff
- Provide commitment to quality treatment and end of life care
- Build relationships with clients and families which support them through difficult times
- Enhance flexibility in the system of care
- Provide a supplement to existing services
- Advocate on behalf of the individual client and service
- Undertake tasks which enhance quality of life for clients and their families
- Work with the professional team to identify the needs of clients and families
The Role of the Volunteer
- Volunteers serve as a member of the hospice team by sharing skills and interests in a manner that provides comfort and enriches the quality of life for those served. Volunteers serve on a regularly scheduled basis and provide the following:
- Support services - companionship, friendly visiting, active listening, bedside sitting, letter writing.
- Sharing hobbies and special interests - reading, gardening, listening to music, sports, travel, crafts, etc.
- Assisting with errands - grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions and supplies, banking.
- Homemaking tasks - light housekeeping, dishes, laundry, meal preparation, child care.
- No task is too big or too small for a hospice volunteer, but often the most important thing you can do is just "be there" for patients to reassure them they are not alone, to hold a hand, to offer a smile, or to just listen. It is not easy work, but the personal rewards are enormous. The strength and courage of patients provide a constant source of inspiration, and volunteers usually feel they gain more than they have been able to give.
Other volunteer opportunities include providing help with special projects, mailings, reception, clerical support or working with special events such as memorial services and fund raising events. Trained volunteers can assist with community education and public speaking.
Hospice volunteers often express their work with patients and families as a blessing. The inner knowledge and satisfaction a volunteer receives from knowing they've made a real difference in the life of a patient or family is what makes being a hospice volunteer special. To be invited into the last months, weeks, and days of a person's life is an honor and a privilege.
We love working to train our volunteers to help support families. If you are interested in volunteering with AmeraCare, please fill out the interest form below and we will be in contact with you soon.