Volunteers are the backbone of the hospice team
They form close bonds with patients and family members, because patients often tell volunteers things they feel they can’t tell their loved ones. Family members may confide concerns to the volunteer that they’d rather not share with the terminally ill patient. When important things go unsaid, survivors may feel guilty for a long time. Volunteers open the way for people to talk honestly to each other.
Volunteers Serve in Many Ways
- Listen to concerns
- Keep the patient company
- Provide a link to the hospice staff
- Be a support person
- Do chores around the house
- Run errands
Volunteers try to help patients find their own answers to important questions.
The volunteer’s presence can be extremely comforting to the patient, even if the volunteer only sits quietly in the room. Volunteers often read to patients or suggest activities they could do together. Family members may use this time for a much needed respite.
Volunteers report on the needs of the patient and family. They’re an important source of information for the hospice team.
Volunteers are often the ones patients and family members turn to for comfort, help and information.
This helps take pressure off family members. Chores could be anything from walking the dog or raking leaves to helping with housekeeping or baby-sitting.
These might include picking up medical supplies or grocery shopping.
Two Ways Volunteering Can Benefit Your Health
- INDIVIDUALS WHO VOLUNTEER LIVE LONGER: Research shows that individuals who volunteer have lower mortality rates, even when taking into account factors like physical health, age, socioeconomic status and gender. Other research shows people with serious or chronic illnesses who volunteer on a regular basis receive benefits far beyond what can be achieved through medical care.
- VOLUNTEERING CAN COMBAT DEPRESSION: Volunteering has a positive effect on personal sense of purpose and accomplishment. When individuals volunteer, rates of depression can be lowered.
Giving Back Can Have Enormous Benefits To Your Health. Apply today by filling out the application below or by calling 800-358-7844.
*Research from the National and Community Service
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