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Hospice Volunteers Offer Companionship and Caring … And You Can Become One

January 27, 2016

Are you interested in a life-changing volunteer experience? Saad Healthcare’s hospice program has a great need for new volunteers.

Hospice volunteers are an important part of our mission in caring for patients at the end of their lives, as well as their families. Volunteers provide a multitude of services, depending on the needs of each patient and the skills of each volunteer. They may provide desperately needed respite to family members who are overwhelmed with round-the-clock responsibilities, or they may drive patients to and from doctor’s visits and other places they need to go. They might read to a patient or simply sit and talk. Some volunteers assist in our office, sending condolence notes to families or birthday cards to patients.

Hospice volunteers find their own lives – and the value with which they see life in general – enhanced by giving of their time to those facing death. Rather than being a depressing experience, participating in hospice is life-affirming and life-enriching. A volunteer knows with certainty the he or she is making a difference in a time of great need. Our call is to serve those who need our help the most, and hospice is one place in our world where a single individual can do so very much.

Volunteers are carefully supervised by our Volunteer Coordinator. Assignments are made with the goal of matching a patient’s needs to the volunteer’s interests and experience. A volunteer is given the option of accepting or rejecting any assignment. New volunteers will complete an orientation and eight hours of training before being assigned to a patient.

What is hospice care? Hospice is a special approach to caring for patients whose life expectancy is limited. Basic to hospice is the belief that it is of greater importance to enhance the quality of life for a person with a terminal condition than to prolong that life. Unlike medical treatment for most maladies, hospice care aims to meet non-physical needs as well as physical ones. Hospice encompasses treatment for the whole person – mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Providing support for family members and others close to the patient is another important component of hospice care.

In short, hospice care attempts to be comprehensive and complete, honoring life and treating death as an integral part of living.

If you think you might be interested in becoming a volunteer or would like to find out more about the opportunity, please contact our Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Marcelene Lewis, by telephone at (251) 287-8982 or by email at marcelene.lewis@saadhealthcare.com.