Many people are unsure what exactly Hospice Volunteers do. They come from diverse backgrounds and fill a variety of needs. They are the heart of hospice care organizations and play a vital role. Some work directly with patients; others assist with office work and perform a multitude of other tasks to support our organization. Each one unique, but they all have one desire in common – to make a difference.

Here are a few of the tasks hospice volunteers perform:

Patient Care Volunteers spend time with patients and/or families. They go to their place of residence (either nursing facilities or patient homes). They do not provide any medical or hands-on care. They simply spend time with patients that have no one or relieve caregivers so they can go grocery shopping, to doctor’s appointments, etc. This comfort and support means the world to hospice patients and their families.

Administrative Volunteers also have an important role in hospice organizations. Hospice couldn’t provide the level of excellent care for which they are known without them. Volunteers prepare mailings, answer phones, assist in community outreach events, and help with data entry and other clerical duties.

Special Project Volunteers can do a multitude of things. Knitting/crocheting/sewing blankets or booties; crafts, birthday cakes, honey do tasks and more.

Veteran Volunteers assist with veteran patients on hospice services. A Veteran Volunteer can spend time with patients that are veterans and help to provide a care plan which is veteran and family focused. Like Patient Care Volunteers, they go to their place of residence and spend time with patients that have no one, or relieve caregivers so they can run errands. Additionally, we celebrate our veterans with a Hospice for Heroes ceremony. We are always looking for veterans in our community to celebrate with us.

As a member of a hospice team, you can serve others by sharing skills and interests. No task is too big or too small. The important thing is volunteers reassure patients and families that they are not alone. The strength and courage patients exhibit are a constant source of inspiration and you will certainly find that you gain more than you give. If you would be interested in receiving more information about hospice volunteering, please contact Judi at Avalon Hospice, 620-231-8000. Avalon serves the Southeast Kansas area and whether you have an hour a year, or an hour a week, we would love to have you join our team.