An integral part of our team, volunteers continue to be a touchstone of the hospice services that the agency provides. Regional Hospice volunteers come from all walks of life. They are male and female veterans, financial analysts, social workers, nurses, teachers, musicians and retirees. What they have in common is their desire to help others at a difficult time of life.
Regional Hospice volunteers offer support and companionship for patients and their families in their home, assisted living residence or skilled nursing facilities, many of whom live in Greenwich. Volunteers do not provide hands on care.
One volunteer worked with a patient who would speak often of his World War II experiences, providing detailed descriptions that he, and many other men of his age, never shared with their own families. Another volunteer sat with a patient quietly, so her caregiver could take a much-needed break. Yet another volunteer worked with a woman in her 40s, nearing the end of her life, who wanted to learn to play the guitar. An accomplished player himself, he taught her several songs and they “jammed” often before she died.
The motivations that bring people to volunteer at Regional Hospice can vary from a spiritual calling to someone in their life suggesting “they’d be good at it,” to having a friend or family member who benefitted from hospice care during the last part of their lives. But regardless of the inspiration, volunteer’s contributions are unique and invaluable in helping others die with dignity.
All volunteers receive extensive training, which includes information on the hospice philosophy, as well as the specific services provided by the Regional Hospice and Palliative Care team. The death and dying process is also reviewed in detail. An interview, references and a background check are required. The schedule for volunteers is very flexible. It can be twice a month or several times each week, depending on the volunteer’s availability.
Think you might have what it takes? Contact the Volunteer Department at 203-702-9558 or fill out an application online at: RegionalHospiceCT.org/Volunteer.