Volunteers - The heart of the hospice team.
What is the hospice volunteer role?*
At Heartland, we consider our involvement with each patient a sacred opportunity and a privilege to be in their lives. We depend on our hospice volunteers to help us provide the love, respect and care our patients and their families need.
Volunteers offer support, companionship and practical, compassionate help. Some volunteers interact directly with patients and families, while others prefer to work behind the scenes in the office setting. As a volunteer, you would help us decide which tasks you are comfortable performing. Our volunteers help us enrich the lives of our patients by:
- Helping with office support tasks at the agency
- Running errands for patients and families
- Staying with patients so family members can get a much-needed rest
- Reading or providing a comforting touch
- Playing or singing soothing music to patients
- Keeping vigil with patients in their final hours
- Assisting with bereavement support to the families after a loved one dies
These skills and others like them make hospice volunteers an essential part of the Heartland experience.
*We suggest that volunteers make appropriate adjustments after significant losses in their lives, and wait a minimum of one year following the death of a loved one to volunteer.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice is a special kind of care designed to provide comfort care as well as spiritual and emotional support for terminally ill patients and their families. Hospice focuses on enhancing the quality of life, rather than the length of life. It neither hastens nor postpones death; rather it affirms life and acknowledges dying as a normal process. Hospice care stresses human values that go beyond the physical needs of the patient. It ensures that patients spend the end of their life in dignity and comfort.
The Hospice Team
Heartland Hospice’s program utilizes a team approach to meet the physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients and their families. This team includes the medical director, attending physician, nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, home health aides, spiritual care coordinators, massage therapists, bereavement counselor and volunteers.
Veterans share a common language, code of conduct and honor. No one understands the questions and concerns of a U.S. military veteran more than a fellow veteran or active duty personnel. The Vets-to-Vets volunteer program pairs U.S. military veteran patients with volunteers with similar backgrounds. When one veteran talks to another, stoicism and secrecy may dissolve, and the sharing of stories helps promote life-review and healing.
The Hospice Volunteer
As a hospice volunteer, you will be oriented to the hospice program so you understand our caring philosophy and goals. This will enable you to have the skills needed to assist patients and their families. You will partner with the Volunteer Coordinator to determine the best role to fill.
As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to enrich the lives of others. You will meet and hear the stories of a wide variety of patients and families. Volunteering with Heartland provides significant value to our team as well as to our patients and families we work together to provide quality care.
We invite you to join our team as a hospice volunteer. Become a valuable member of the Heartland family by becoming a hospice volunteer.
If you are a member of a special interest group (a choir, drama club, garden club, etc.) you may want to volunteer your group for a special project or activity. Become an integral part of the Heartland family by becoming a volunteer.
How much of a commitment will I be asked to make?
As a Heartland Volunteer, you can donate as much or as little of your time as you desire. The duties of our volunteers are varied. This flexibility allows you to find an area or service that is uniquely suited to you and provide you with the greatest personal satisfaction.
To find out more about Heartland’s Volunteer Program, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Georgie Viox at 231.935.3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org