Traits of a Casa de la Luz Hospice Volunteer

| By Jodi Horton

Casa de la Luz Hospice patients have the option to add a volunteer to their hospice care team. The volunteer provides companionship to the patient and sometimes, respite for a family caregiver. All volunteers are required to attend a 30-hour training before they can begin volunteering with patients. In our volunteers, we look for some of the following traits.

An engaged heart – We have one chance to serve our patients.  Simply going through the motions specifically for one’s personal needs, like completing a special project or crossing a task off a list, will not suffice.  The heart must truly be engaged with the sincere and genuine desire to serve others.

Flexibility – Things happen quickly on hospice, and there are no crystal balls to help us determine the future.  Our volunteers must be able to “go with the flow” when things don’t play out exactly as they had thought or hoped that they would.

Communication – An awareness of one’s own communication style is critical.  Some patients love to visit; others need to sit in stillness and be quiet.  Our volunteers need to be comfortable in either situation. It’s also important that volunteers are able to communicate with other hospice team members on a regular basis.

Commitment – Our patients come to rely on and enjoy weekly visits from our volunteers. The volunteer must be able to commit 1-2 hours per week to their volunteering.  A commitment based on faith and trust in our organization is a must. The volunteer’s commitment is a part of the hospice’s greater promise to provide a patient and their loved ones with superior care.

Being agenda free – Visits are about the patients and not about one’s own self.  It is important that our volunteers keep themselves “in check” before walking through the patient’s doorway.  The things that we value most can be considered agendas when we feel the need to impose them on others.  Allowing the patient to lead every visit serves the patient best and allows them to maintain a sense of comfort, dignity, and harmony.

If you are interested in hospice volunteer opportunities in Tucson, Casa de la Luz Hospice will host a volunteer training this fall. Apply online or contact (520) 544-9890 for more information about our volunteer program.

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