Patient Care Volunteers
may provide respite by staying with the patient while
the caregiver has some time away, emotional support
by being a caring friend and a good listener, companionship,
and practical support in the form of errands or transportation.
Volunteers may also be involved with bereavement care.
Program support volunteers may assist with office or
clerical tasks, fund raising efforts and special programs
The hospice concept of care represents a continually
growing trend in world health practices. In 1973 there
was one hospice in the United States; by 2010 there were over 5,000 hospices caring for more than a million and half patients annually, and the numbers continue to grow.
As an integral part of the hospice team, the volunteer
is crucial to the quality of care any hospice can offer.
Volunteers must be caring and emotionally mature individuals
who are comfortable with the issues of death and dying
and are committed to their work. Volunteers gain tremendous
satisfaction from making a difference in the lives of
others and continually report individual
growth and increased self-knowledge from their experiences