I am considering volunteering at the local hospice but I have a few questions. I have worked at assisted living places and absolutely loved working with residents and became close to many of them. But I realize hospice is a whole different story. Do you have any advice on preparing to go into this type of volunteer work? Has it helped or hurt your faith? How close did you come with the patients and their families? I do not have any training in social work would this be a problem?
I haven’t actually been a volunteer, but I did work for hospice for awhile, and I took care of my grandpa while he was on hospice. There are no ‘requirements’, just someone who wants to help people. A lot of what you’ll be doing is just talking–both to the patient, and their family. Those folks are housebound a lot, and they appreciate seeing a friendly face and having someone to talk about the weather with. Of course, if they are open to it, you can also talk about the faith. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do, and if I had time (read: not so many kids to keep up with) I’d do it myself. I probably will when the kids are older.
I am a very active volunteer at a residential hospice. We also have home hospice as part of the total program. I love it. I work mostly with patients and their families and it is extremely rewarding. I find it easy to talk to patients and more easy to talk to families. Sometimes just a kind word or a hug or having a cup of coffee with them is helpful to them. I believe that it is often harder on the family than on the patient and I think family members are relieved to find someone who understands what they are going through. I highly recommend it.