Volunteers play a vital role in providing a multitude of services for our patients during companion visits, including reading to the patient, playing music or games, helping write letters and so much more. Volunteers work directly with the patient and family, or behind the scenes. Crafts are created by our amazing volunteers including pillows, memory bears, lap blankets and Legacy Books. Our volunteers build close relationships with our hospice patients and are an integral part of their care. Our program offers many opportunities, and we welcome you to share your time, talent, and compassion.
Support Offered by Hospice Volunteers
The volunteer is an important member of our hospice team. Although hospice volunteers complete an intensive training program, they cannot do “hands on” care or perform any task of a professional or technical nature, such as administering medications or changing diapers. They can, however, offer “friendly” support in the following ways.
Ways Volunteers Can Help
- Can be a companion and friendly visitor to the patient/family.
- Can stay with the patient, allowing family members time to have a break or focus attention elsewhere.
- Can be a trusted listener, giving emotional support to both patient and family members.
- Can shop, run errands, mail letters, make phone calls.
- Can do light housekeeping tasks: tidy a room, wash a few dishes, and fluff a pillow.
- Can help with personal grooming: brush hair, polish nails.
- Can read to a patient, play a game, write a letter.
- Can be available by phone for emotional support.
Ways Volunteers Cannot Help
- Cannot be the primary caregiver. This responsibility must be assumed by some member of the family or by a close friend or hired person.
- Cannot give nursing care.
- Cannot be expected to come to the home on the spur of the moment or at any unusual hour.
- Cannot be a regular housekeeper or do anything of a heavy housekeeping nature, such as scrubbing a floor or washing windows.
- Cannot answer medical questions.
- Cannot provide automobile transportation to the patient and/or family members.
To be considered for a hospice volunteer position you must meet the following criteria:
- 18 years of age or older
- Be ready and willing to commit to at least 12 months of volunteer service, for at least four hours a week
- Fill out a hospice volunteer application
- Pass a background check
- Attend hospice volunteer training
Ways to Get Involved
We all have a story. We offer our patients the opportunity to tell their life story through our Legacy Program. We believe that by providing volunteer “personal historians” for our patients and their families to record and transcribe their life story, we are giving them the comfort of knowing their life will be remembered long after they are gone. We provide our patients both a written and recorded copy. Research on projects like ours has demonstrated significant reduction in both suffering and depression, by providing a sense of peace and dignity. The finished memoir is a legacy to the patient’s survivors.
We offer our hospice patients the opportunity to be visited and comforted by specially trained animals when available. Visits from our specially trained dogs and volunteers provide love, joy, affection, and comfort. According to Therapy Dogs International, the sensation of touch and physical contact has a calming effect that combats loneliness, allowing patients to feel needed. Our pet therapy teams are here to enhance the lives of each patient they interact with.
All pets need to be certified through a therapy animal program such as petpartners.org
MemorialCare Hospice recognizes the unique needs of America’s Veterans and their families. We all have a story. The Legacy Program offers our patients the opportunity to tell their life story through interviews, photos and transcripts. Research on projects like ours has demonstrated significant reduction in both suffering and depression, by providing a sense of peace and dignity. The finished memoir is a legacy to the patient's survivors.
Thank you for your service to our nation. Thank you, for the sacrifices you made and your willingness to serve our country. You endured hardships and you were willing to risk your life to maintain our freedom. On behalf of our staff here at MemorialCare Hospice & Palliative Services, please accept our thanks and gratitude. Know that your service to the nation is deeply appreciated. We thank you.
Imagine how much a hospice patient appreciates the comfort and dignity of an in-home haircut by a licensed cosmetologist or barber. The time commitment on your part is small, 2-4 times a month or whatever your schedule will allow.
Memory Bears are sewn by volunteers from the patient’s clothing. These special bears help ease the family’s pain when they’re missing their loved one and serve as a cuddly reminder of them. A hug from a Memory Bear always delivers a special kind of comfort.