Volunteers are the Heart of Hospice – the most vibrant, trusted, and – above all – present member of the caring Hospice team.
Upper Peninsula Hospice volunteers receive 10 or more weeks of training and orientation. They commit to ongoing training to support their efforts and to encourage personal renewal. Some Hospice volunteers are caring amateurs, others are retired nurses, doctors, or social service workers.
Volunteers are a required part of any Medicare-certified Hospice agency. Their services are vital to support the role of the patient’s caregivers. More important, they serve the patient directly in a number of caring ways:
- Reading aloud or writing letters
- Shopping and other personal errands
- Meal preparation
- Respite care for family members. Escorting the patient on important outings – a walk in the woods, a fishing trip, a pampering date at the local salon, or a night at a granddaughter’s ball game
All volunteers are careful and caring listeners. They spend countless hours at the patient’s home – listening, encouraging, understanding all that is said, and much that is left unsaid.
Our Vigil volunteers offer a comforting presence at the bedside of a dying person who may otherwise be alone.
They continue their service for 13 months as part of the Hospice bereavement service – a friendly face and a comfort to grieving families, and a link to a future filled with memories and hope.