Volunteers are an essential part of the Glory Hospice and Palliative Care team. Therefore, volunteer assistance is crucial to the success of our team delivering quality care. Each volunteer brings a special component to supporting patient/families in collaboration with other team members.
Hospice volunteers are extremely committed people who donate time to provide emotional support and respite care support for patients and families. Available to serve in many ways, volunteers are often most cherished as a caring listener. Participants may range in age from teens to senior citizens. While volunteering opportunities can vary greatly from one hospice to another, Glory Hospice & Palliative Care strives to constructively utilize the time and talents of those who answer the call to serve. Some volunteers may have professional skills or specialized expertise, but most are just people who want to help their friends and neighbors and serve the community.
Glory Hospice & Palliative Care Volunteers have opportunities available that will include some of the following:
- Support for patients. This can include visiting, reading, taking walks, writing letters, bringing in music, supervising visits with pets, even massage therapy for volunteers with the necessary skills.
- Respite and support for family members. Volunteers can assist with shopping or household maintenance, or allow family caregivers the opportunity to take care of necessary errands and get some time away from the house. Family members also appreciate a visit from a compassionate friend who understands what they are going through.
- Child care assistance. This can include help with babysitting, picking up children from school or providing necessary transportation to club meetings or sporting events and practices. Volunteers have also made invaluable contributions with family pet care.
- Bereavement support programs. Hospice volunteers can work closely with the hospice’s professional bereavement staff in duties that range from assisting as a support group facilitator to serving refreshments and helping with mailings to clients and families.
- Fund-raising and administrative work. A volunteer with clerical skills can serve a hospice by helping in the office with simple administrative duties. Fundraising responsibilities can range from preparing mailings or thank you letters to organizing fundraising events and contacting possible donors.
To ensure that all volunteers are equipped for the challenge of working with the dying, hospices require that volunteers complete extensive orientation and training sessions, as well as submit to a routine background check. It’s important that volunteers understand the history of hospice and are aware of the specific ways their local hospices works to serve the community. Depending on area of service, additional training may be available or necessary.
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.
Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others without being motivated by financial or material gain. Volunteering generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote god or improve human quality of life. People also volunteer to gain skills without requiring an employer’s financial investment.
Volunteering takes many forms and is performed by a wide range of people. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work in, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Other volunteers on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.
Role of the Volunteer
You are not expected to be an expert or authority who knows all the answers. The fundamental role of the volunteer is to just be there. The volunteer may involve a variety of tasks that are important to meeting the patient/family care plan. The volunteer must be able to adapt as specific needs arise, because patient and family needs are often complex and are ever-changing.
A volunteer who is able to listen attentively and communicate what is heard effectively can be exceptionally supportive to families and patients. The communication between the patient, family and the interdisciplinary team is vital in patient care.
What in the World You Can I Do!
You might be thinking, “The little bit that I can do will never help much!” or “What in the world can I do?” If you’ve ever spent ten minutes reading a book to a lonely child, you now that even that small amount of compassion and attention can make a world of difference. No one person can solve the world’s problems, but what little you do can make your little corner of the world — or one far away from yours a happier, healthier, safer place to live for those who need your help. Each of us can right a wrong, fill a plate, or visit someone that you hardly know.
Some of the Best Reasons to Volunteer
Some of the best reasons to give are the ones you may not have considered — the ones that make it worth your while to go that extra step. People who have spent time volunteering for a cause report that they get back in satisfaction and joy more than they ever expend in inconvenience or effort — what you get back is immeasurable. You’ll also receive these benefits:
- Volunteering makes you feel needed.
- Volunteering can lead to learning new skills.
- Volunteering can help you deal with some of your personal problems.
- Volunteering helps you meet new people and breaks down barriers of misunderstanding, mistrust and fear.
- Volunteering can create new contacts which may help your business or career.
Benefits of Volunteering
Economic Benefits: activities undertaken by volunteers that would other wise have to be funded by the state or by private capital, so volunteering adds to the overall economic output of a country and reduces the burden on government spending.
Social Benefits: volunteering helps to build more cohesive communities, fostering greater trust between citizens and developing norms of solidarity and reciprocity that are essential to stable communities.
Individual Career Benefits: graduates can meet people and gain work experience through volunteering and, it helps school students for scholarships knowing well that the judges are impressed when a resume list volunteer work.
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.
If you are interested in volunteering your time or you have a skill that you would like to share then please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 706-507-5445.