Hospice Associates Blog

Hospice Volunteering: The Gift of Giving and Receiving

Hospice Associates - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Have you ever wondered what hospice volunteers do? Ever been curious about what is involved in becoming a volunteer? Did you know that all hospice agencies are required to have a volunteer program.

Hospice volunteers, like hospice employees, have a diverse background of talents and skills.  Many volunteers have had much experience, some have had none.  Some volunteers experienced hospice care for their own loved-one and want to give back to others. However different the talent or reason, you will find all have a great compassion and a strong desire to support others, ease concerns,  make a difference, and do something meaningful for others going through during a difficult time.

As a hospice volunteer, you use your own natural gifts and skills to support patients and their families in meaningful ways.  Support time may include running errands, preparing light meals, staying with a patient to give family members a break, reading favorite books, sharing conversation or songs, playing cards or games, doing art projects, making a memory book, writing letters and lending emotional support and companionship to patients and caregivers and more.  You may even choose to volunteer with patients at home, in assisted living centers or at nursing facilities.  Your volunteer options are as diverse as our patients’ and families’ needs.

As a hospice volunteer, you may also choose to use other talents to provide support to hospice agencies such as clerical tasks, assisting with health fairs & community events, bereavement programs, specialty projects and more.   

Most interested in hospice volunteering wonder if they are qualified or if training is provided. The agency will review with you the various volunteer opportunities and is always interested in new opportunities you may have to provide also.   As a new volunteer, you undergo the same application process as hospice employees, including an application, interview, background check and drug testing.  Volunteers receive hospice orientation and volunteer training.  Areas of training include understanding hospice, confidentiality, working with families, listening skills, signs and symptoms of approaching death, loss and grief and bereavement support and more.

As you can see, hospice volunteers have the opportunity to not only give, but to gain. Our volunteers tell us that they find giving to others as a hospice volunteer has brought them much gain in ways they did not expect.  Often they share of unexpected personal growth; renewed sense of well-being by helping others; gained appreciation of the small things that make a difference; new skills in helping others and priceless insight into the beauty of life and relationships.

If you are interested in exploring more, and live in the Greater New Orleans area, it would be our pleasure to hear from you.  Please call us at (504) 457-2200 or email admin@hospiceassociates.com.



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