Oshyn Hospice Volunteer Program

Hospice is a philosophy of care that recognizes death as a natural part of life and seeks neither to prolong nor hasten the dying process. Hospice care involves support for patients and their loved ones. Volunteers are the heart of hospice as they provide that extra level of care, comfort, and support that makes all the difference to patients and families. No task is too big or too small for a dedicated hospice volunteer.  The hospice volunteer is an essential member of the interdisciplinary care team in providing this much needed and appreciated support in the following ways:

 

  • Companionship - A volunteer may share worries and concerns, listen, or just sit quietly. Often the most important thing a volunteer can do is just “be there” for patients to reassure them they are not alone. Other activities might include reading, listening to music, playing games, or watching TV or a movie.

 

  • Caregiver relief - The volunteer may stay with the patient during scheduled periods of time or their presence may provide much needed respite periods for the caregiver to take care of themselves, their home, and other members of their family.

 

  • Practical services and errands - The volunteer may assist the patient with writing letters and taking telephone messages, adjusting bed and covers, grocery shopping, and pickup of medications and supplies. You might have the occasion to prepare a light meal, provide transportation, do an occasional load of laundry or take care of some light shopping.

 

  • Spiritual support - If asked, the volunteer may pray with a patient or family, read from inspirational books, play special music, etc. The volunteer may also encourage the patient to communicate his or her faith, fears, or any thoughts or feelings about end of life issues to the hospice chaplain.

 

  • Team and office support - Volunteers are always needed to assist the hospice team in the office and with special projects and events that are key to providing hospice care to the community. These activities might include answering telephones, prepare, fill and duplicate projects like board or family packets, education conferences, memorials and newsletters, run errands, type and input data and statistics and other general clerical tasks.

 

Volunteer Training

 

Oshyn Hospice trains volunteers in the following areas:

 

  • The history of hospice care

  • The goals and philosophy of hospice care

  • Concepts of death and dying

  • Psychosocial issues in death and dying

  • Family dynamics

  • Confidentiality (HIPAA Guidelines)

  • Care and comfort measures with terminal illness

  • Spiritual and cultural issues in death, dying and grief

  • Communication and listening skills  

  • Signs of approaching death

  • Grief and bereavement

 

The Benefits of Being a Hospice Volunteer

 

Although it’s not always easy work, the personal rewards are enormous. Hospice volunteers find it personally gratifying and emotionally meaningful to assist those in need at a most critical time in their lives. You will have the opportunity to learn, grow, serve and will definitely discover things about yourself.

 

Hospice volunteers usually feel they gain more than they have been able to give.  Please consider enriching your own life and the lives of others as an Oshyn Hospice volunteer.

 

Becoming a Volunteer

 

To find out more about becoming a volunteer with Oshyn Hospice, please contact our volunteer coordinator at 520.795.3535 or email us at volunteer@oshynhospice.com

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