The kindness and generosity of volunteers play an important role in many organizations, including hospice. People who donate their time and friendship to hospice patients provide them with a sense of support and connectedness that’s essential for someone with a life-limiting illness.
Hospice volunteers make a positive impact on quality of life for people receiving care. You don’t have to do anything overly complicated or strenuous. From providing conversation, reading, or listening to music to holding their hand on a tough day, your friendship makes a difference in their lives.
Sometimes volunteers are called on to answer phones, make cards, run errands for patients or enter data into the computer. The tasks can be as varied as you are willing and able to tackle.
Not surprisingly, research shows that volunteers receive as much or more than they give when it comes to supporting individuals and organizations. There are even studies that show volunteers themselves enjoy longer, healthier lives.
The Many Rewards of Volunteering for Hospice
Let’s take a look at some of the rewards you’ll reap—from gaining purpose to a greater awareness of self—when you volunteer for hospice:
- Expand your world: Hospice volunteering introduces you to people from all walks of life, each with their own unique story. That includes not only the patients but also their friends and family. By spending time with the patient and their loved ones, you’ll have an opportunity to expand your life, too.
- Gain a sense of fulfillment: Many people who consider volunteering for hospice may feel uncertain or intimidated at the idea of working with people who are at the end of life. They may also worry that it will be depressing or emotional. However, when serving hospice patients, you’ll likely find the opposite to be true. Your companionship may help people feel secure and comfortable during a difficult time in life, especially for those patients who don’t have loved ones nearby.
- Develop greater self-confidence: Providing care and emotional support for patients approaching the end of their life often encourages volunteers to reflect on their own lives. It can lead to a journey of personal growth and awareness that brings a greater sense of self. That’s a reward otherwise hard to come by.
- Explore spiritual growth: Because death and dying are topics people tend to avoid, many people struggle with their own feelings about religion and spirituality. As a hospice volunteer, you will have the opportunity to view death and dying in an open and honest way. That often helps people explore their own feelings about these complex issues.
Hospice Volunteer Training
If you are interested in becoming a hospice volunteer but aren’t quite sure whether it’s right for you, rest assured. All hospice volunteers complete an onboarding process to ensure they are prepared for the role and that it is a good fit. Training is included through onboarding to make sure you are comfortable with the volunteer duties you’ll be asked to assist with.
Training programs vary from one hospice organization to another but typically include topics such as disease orientation, coping with grief and loss, emergency procedures, communicating with patients and families, setting boundaries and more.
Visit Anew Hospice online or call us at (866) 887-1506 to learn more or get started!