What's Involved in Becoming a Hospice Volunteer?
Patient/family volunteers with Hospice of Mercy become very involved with patients and their families. The commitment to help can last anywhere from weeks to months, usually involving visits during daytime hours. The focus is on relieving the family and providing comfort, support and companionship for the patient in their home environment. A family can be assigned more than one volunteer, depending on their need.
Volunteers often become good friends, listening and responding to families' needs with understanding and empathy. They help maintain a sense of normalcy and quality of life for the patient and family. Volunteer tasks include companionship, respite for family members, listening, shopping, meal preparation, light housework, running errands or transportation.
Bereavement volunteers act as sensitive listeners to family members after a death has occurred. They stay in contact by phone or home visits, and may accompany family members to grief support and social events.
Our volunteers also provide support to survivors as they move through the stages of grief. The goal is to help family members adjust their lives after the loss.
Our "11th Hour" volunteers are available to sit with dying patients for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. This is a critical service, especially for patients who are alone or need companionship, or to provide a break for the family. This type of volunteer work requires extra training.
For those who would like to help the program in an office setting, we welcome office support volunteers to help in the Hospice office with mailing and clerical duties.