Love, support and joy. Regardless of your circumstance, each person’s end of life care should include these things. Often times, as people approach the final part of their journey, they and their families may have feelings of trepidation or fear. Uncharted waters can be scary and oftentimes overwhelming. However, there are experts ready to guide you and walk alongside you. Hospice is a specialized approach to care that address the physical, emotional, and spiritual support of each patient and their loved ones. In addition to nurses, aides, chaplains, and medical social workers, there are very special team members that make a priceless contribution to this special time – hospice volunteers. Hospice volunteers offer people some of the most valuable resources available – time, compassion, and love. As a hospice volunteer, you have the opportunity to impact the lives of people who are preparing to say good-bye to this world, and your support is beyond measure.
Why Be a Hospice Volunteer?
What Is Hospice?
Hospice care provides end-of-life care for patients who are facing a life-limiting illness. The focus of hospice is comfort care and symptom management. This type of care is appropriate for individuals who want to focus on quality of life as opposed to quantity of life. Hospice care is offered in patients’ homes by a team of compassionate professionals who are there to support not only the patient but also the family and caregivers as well. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the number of patients seeking hospice care is growing each year.
Volunteers are a key part of any hospice team. The number of volunteers is constantly changing, but in 2011, it was estimated that more than 450,000 hospice volunteers were currently working in the United States. The primary function of a volunteer is to provide support for the patient. But this doesn’t simply mean keeping them company. It can include reading, taking the patient on walks, helping them get in touch with family and loved ones, playing music, joining them in board games, watching movies, and even supervising visits from therapy animals. Because each patient has an individualized care plan, their daily needs differ. It’s important to remember that not all hospice patients have cancer or are senior citizens. Hospice can provide end-of-life care for people of all ages and ailments. Why be a hospice volunteer? The answer will differ for each volunteer, but at the end of the day, all of our volunteers are dedicated to providing love, comfort, compassion, and support to patients.
What Are the Benefits of Volunteering?
All volunteers have their own unique reasons for giving back to their community. The benefits of volunteering have long been studied and researched. According to Forbes, there are five main benefits you can receive from volunteering your time and efforts: developing new skills, building new experiences, feeling loved, feeling as if you have more time, and even becoming a healthier person. Research shows that people who volunteer have lower rates of depression later in life, lower mortality rates, and even higher functional ability. While these benefits are numerous and positive, they don’t outweigh the feeling of joy gained from knowing you’ve helped a patient and their family when they needed it most by being a hospice volunteer.
A New Beginning
Whether you’re looking to join our team of hospice volunteers or you or a loved one are looking for a home care provider, check out what Phoenix Home Care has to offer. We provide many home care services, including those that require the assistance of a medical professional, and we are committed to improving the quality of life of each of our patients. If you have questions, send us a message or call 855-881-7442 to speak with one of our team members. With our help, you will soon be on the journey to a happier, healthier you!