When someone enters into hospice care, it's always with a terminal diagnosis. It can be a moment of darkness facing our own mortality, but there are a special group of people who are shedding light during these moments of darkness. Volunteers help to brighten the lives of hospice patients in various ways.
“Facing the end of life takes courage, perhaps especially for the family members of patients. Facing that approaching loss is a difficult thing. But, we don’t have to face it alone. This is the real gift of hospice services—support for both patients and their family members at every step of the way. And, with support, we can find comfort and even beauty in coming to terms with end-of-life and the process of grief.”
The value of hospice volunteers is immeasurable. They bring a sense of normalcy to the hospice patient and the family. This can also allow them to build very strong and personal relationships with the hospice patient and their family.
"I’ve been a hospice volunteer for a decade. I provide respite for caregivers of terminally ill people. I know that sounds depressing in itself….honestly, it’s rewarding work. Volunteers are asked to take blankets to patients on hospice. The blankets are crocheted by generous, kind souls that enjoy their craft."
Not all hospice volunteers make visits, some create blankets or other comforting items that other volunteers take out to the patients. Volunteer roles can vary based on the talents they offer to share.
"...she happily shared with me memories of trips she had taken, documented carefully in numerous scrapbooks. We spent hours together going through those scrapbooks. After several months, as Ann Marie’s condition improved, she was discharged from hospice..."
Not every hospice case ends in death, conditions can improve and they can be discharged. Sometimes a little bit of light in a dark moment can be enough to change hopeless into hopeful. Being a hospice volunteer can change not only your life but the life of the patient and their family. If you're interested in applying to be a volunteer, fill out our application here, or contact our volunteer coordinator Stefanie Nold.