VNA HOSPICE is proud of our compassionate volunteers. They are available to help patients and their families in many different capacities. All hospice volunteers have completed a vigorous training and continue this training by attending classes or completing home study assignments throughout the year.
VNA HOSPICE Volunteers choose how they wish to assist a patient and their family. They have the capacity to love and care in a variety of ways that may include some of the following:
- Stay with patient while the family caregiver runs errands, naps, attends church services, visits the barber/beauty shop or simply gets away for a few hours.
- Help with light housework.
- Help with meal preparation or bake something special and bring to the home.
- Listen while Patient talks.
- Visit the Patient or Caregiver by phone when they prefer “no visitors” but do want to talk.
- Provide support and comfort.
- Drive or escort the patient or caregiver to appointments, shopping or short outings.
- Read the Bible, book, newspaper or magazine to the patient.
- Write letters for the patient.
- Watch TV together.
- Sit beside the bed or chair while the patient sleeps so there is “someone there” when they wake.
- Intercept unwanted phone calls and visitors when the patient or family are not “in the mood” to talk.
- Assist the patient with “special projects” such as shopping for presents for a grandchild’s birthday, repotting a plant, decorating for Christmas, picking up children from school, escorting a child to their ball game, and so much more.
- Record memories on video or audio tapes for the family to have to relive their lives together.
- Help sort photos and develop scrap books.
- Mow the grass or weed a flower bed in summer.
- Shovel snow from the walk in winter.
- Take trained pet companions to visit.
- Offer “indirect care” or Administrative Support by assisting in an office compiling Patient/Family Manuals, mailing newsletters and greeting cards, etc.
- Sew sleepwear, adult bibs, “memory bears,” etc.
- Provide bereavement support by visiting with the family regularly throughout the first year following a loved one’s death.
- Fund-raising – projects that help fund charity services and added benefits for patients
- Public Relations – sharing the satisfaction of volunteering with family and friends without breaching a confidence.
- Sharing of special individual gifts and talents such as art, music, cosmetology, massage, crafts, carpentry, minor household repairs, gardening, etc.
- Professional Volunteers, such as doctors, nurses, massage therapists, beauticians/barbers, etc. may wish to donate their professional services. They must maintain the licensure or certification related to their profession to be able to do so.
- And much, much more. The potential is as varied as the people who choose to give of their time and talents to a family coping with a life-threatening illness.
The list is endless. It will differ according to individual needs. VNA HOSPICE strives to match families and volunteers according to needs, interests and volunteer capabilities.
Hospice volunteers can do much to relieve the stress that comes from coping with a life limiting illness. Perhaps their greatest role is that of a listener ~ someone to talk to who understands and will provide support for the difficult decisions to be made. Many times, the volunteer, as a trust-worthy friend, can provide an outlet for the normal frustrations a caregiver is feeling.
Hospice families can request a hospice volunteer at any time. Many families develop lasting friendships with their volunteer. Others may use the services of a volunteer only once or twice during a time of special need. Whatever the situation, VNA HOSPICE makes every effort to match the particular needs of a family with the talents of a trained volunteer who can meet that need.
Volunteers are never asked to give around-the-clock service. Most are asked to give 3-4 hours each week while serving a family. Some choose to do more. It all depends on the availability and willingness of the volunteer to serve.
Most volunteers will report that they feel they receive so much more than they give.
What You Can Do To Become a Volunteer
Schedule a time to take the volunteer training. Trainings are offered throughout the service area of Southeast Missouri at times and places most convenient for those wishing to know more about hospice.
You must take the training before making the decision to become a VNA Hospice Volunteer. We want you to know and understand what you are volunteering to do before you make a commitment.
You will be given a training manual. You will be encouraged to keep this manual as a personal resource after you complete the training. You will receive quarterly newsletters that contain updated information and educational material throughout the year. Most choose to include these newsletters in their manual.
Once you have completed the training, you will be asked to complete an application just as any new employee of VNA. Background and reference checks will be made to help verify your ability to serve. You will have a private interview during which you may ask specific questions and finalize your understanding of the role you are applying to fill. The interviewer will ask you to outline your interests and preferences so as to determine how you choose to donate your time and energy. You may continue to serve for as long or short a time as you choose.
Your “pay” will be the most sincere “Thank you” from patients, their families and the clinical staff. Most of your friends will make comments that they “could never do that.” Know that you are special. A monetary value could never be placed on the good you will do. No one else could ever do the work in exactly the same way as you will. We believe that our Creator has a special mission for each of us and that we are placed where we are needed at precisely the right time. Hopefully, your time to consider volunteering with VNA Hospice is today. May God bless and guide you all the days of your life.
Call VNA Hospice and ask to speak to the Volunteer Coordinator or you can email Leah Smith firstname.lastname@example.org.