Becoming a Hospice Volunteer

| By Jodi Horton

IMAGINE the person who commits to donating their valuable and personal time to providing weekly companionship or respite visits for a lonely hospice patient or an exhausted caregiver.   What exactly does a visit like this look like? What is required of this person, and how did this person determine that hospice volunteering was a good fit for him or herself?

CONSIDER this person who is willing to simply “be with” or offer selfless companionship to hospice patients by allowing patients both the right and control to guide each and every visit.   Together, the hospice patient and this person might read, visit, play games, participate in life Heart picturesreview, dictate letters to family members, watch a movie, or enjoy the patient’s favorite television program.

THINK OF the relief this person might provide to fatigued caregivers who benefit from a one to two hour break one day each week.  The caregivers might have the need to make an appointment, tend to errands, take a much needed nap, work in the garden, have lunch with friends, or catch a good movie.

CONJURE UP in your mind the necessary characteristics or qualifications of the person who is able to provide these meaningful visits.  What did you come up with?  Is it someone with an extensive history, education, or experience in death and dying?   Possibly you came to the conclusion that this work is reserved for the saints of this world or for those with extraordinary gifts.  Maybe you perceived a person who is 100% comfortable with their own mortality!  Perhaps you envisioned someone who is quiet, talkative, high- energy, slow-moving, male, female, younger, older, working or retired? 

KNOW THAT while any of the previously listed characteristics may or may not be helpful, none of them envelop the most necessary and foundational prerequisite – the committed and present heart. This condition of the heart allows for a person to “be with” another while simultaneously putting his or her own personal agenda or needs aside.   Beyond this “heart” condition, a carefully designed and excellent training program provides the opportunity for this person to understand the hospice philosophy and learn the skills needed to provide these wonderful gifts.   All of the above help this person to serve hospice patients during one of the most challenging and sacred times in their lives – the end of life. 

CONCEPTUALIZE yourself as this person! Take a good inventory of your heart’s true desires.  Is this person someone you think you could be?  Are hospice patients the people you wish to serve?  Do you have the time and energy to invest?  MIGHT THIS PERSON BE YOU?

If the answer is yes, you might be a Casa de la Luz Hospice patient care volunteer. Click here to read more about Casa de la Luz Hospice volunteer opportunities and fill out a volunteer application online. Our volunteer department will contact you once your application has been received.

Casa de la Luz Hospice provides hospice care and grief support to the Tucson community. Call us at (520) 544-9890 for more information about our services.

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