Why I Volunteer
Ram came to hospice volunteering, in part, as a way to deal with his mother’s death and to process his grief. “At the time, it really helped open up my heart,” he says. “It taught me to empathize and make connections with people and to learn about different families.” Today, most of Ram’s time as a volunteer is spent at local nursing homes, where he sits vigil with people enrolled in our hospice program. Ram, who is the director of technology services for the Vermont State Treasurer’s Office, often uses touch to let his clients know he’s there. He holds their hands while he sits with them for a few hours at a time.
“Volunteering is a way for me to give back to this wonderful community. I feel privileged to sit vigil with my clients and to do this work in Vermont.”
Are You Interested in Volunteering?
We will offer our next volunteer training series this fall, Wednesday evenings, October 2 through November 6, at CVHHH’s main office in Berlin. For more information about the training syllabus, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jean Semprebon via email or by calling 223-1878. You may also fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to click “Submit” when complete. Jean will be in touch with you to follow up.
Why Become a Hospice Volunteer
Volunteers are an integral part of our hospice program. By sitting with patients in the home (and nursing facilities), providing companionship, running errands (including picking up and delivering flowers for hospice staff to bring to patients) or relieving caregivers, volunteers make it possible for CVHHH to deliver the compassionate, holistic care that is the hallmark of our hospice program. Last year, 30 individuals generously contributed their time and talents in support of our hospice program. Experience with hospice or health care is not required. All that’s needed is a caring, can-do attitude and willingness to help make a difference for someone nearing the end of life.
What Will I Do as a Hospice Volunteer?
Hospice volunteers provide family support before and after a patient’s death. They may do many things to add to the comfort and quality of life for patients and families. Typical activities include (but are not limited to):
- Regularly scheduled patient companionship/relief for family
- Escorting and transporting patients and family members to necessary appointments and social outings, errands
- Assistance with light homemaking tasks when fatigue or finances make this difficult
- Staying with patient to allow the primary caregiver to sleep or have social break
- Performing special skills such as crafts, playing board or card games, hairdressing
- Preparing light meals
- Sitting vigil with dying patients
- Gardening, snow shoveling, stacking wood
- Pet care
- Visiting with bereaved family member when a volunteer/patient relationship has developed during the patients illness
Frequently Asked Questions
What training, or certification, is required to become a hospice volunteer?
What activities am I allowed to do with the patient and/or for the patient’s family?
What is the average time commitment for a hospice volunteer?
When do volunteers support patients and their families?