Volunteer Services

Covid-19 update:  Homeland Hospice patients and families continue to be served in compliance with the recommended safety precautions and guidelines from the CDC. Dedicated volunteers have been serving in the background by making phone calls, creating beautiful and uplifting cards, and more. Once the visiting restrictions are lifted, we will need a large team of trained volunteers who are ready to jump in and serve. On-boarding of new volunteers and training of current volunteers is currently taking place online.

“The spirit of hospice volunteering is borne from a genuine desire to give comfort, peace, and care to patients, caregivers, and families during their end of life journey.” ~ Laurie Murry, Homeland Hospice Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteers are an integral part of the hospice team, filling roles that range from direct contact with patients to providing clerical and fundraising support for the organization. Hospices that participate with Medicare are required to utilize volunteers alongside their paid clinical and administrative staff.

ROLES OF HOMELAND HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS

Homeland Hospice’s volunteer program has two areas of service–direct and indirect. Volunteers who provide direct service are in the field with patients. Indirect volunteers may assist with administrative duties in the office or providing support from home. To learn about the variety of opportunities and how your talents and skills could fit, download our Volunteer Opportunities and Roles brochure.

THE IMPACT OF HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS

Hospice volunteers have a tremendously positive impact on not only the lives of the patients they serve, but on our the hospice team (of which they are a part) and the patient’s families and friends.

It is important to offer support, comfort, and compassion at end of life and this is exactly what our hospice volunteers do. A personal connection is shown to have a greater level of quality of life experience for patients in hospice care. By simply “being there,” a volunteer can make the end of life journey more comfortable, relaxed, and safe for patients and the people who love them. Volunteers who serve patients may spend time reading, playing music, holding a hand, reminiscing, walking with, and playing games/cards … all adding to the quality and joy of a patient’s life. Support may also involve providing comfort to families, working from home to make soups and casseroles, prayer shawls and quilts, fidget blankets and aromatherapy bags.

Homeland’s administrative volunteers assist in keeping our organization functional. They are trained to file, scan documents into the patient medical records, compile admission packets, address bereavement letters, write sympathy cards, copy, make phone calls to patients and bereaved family members, and various other duties that help streamline the jobs of our staff. Assistance is also welcomed in the Development office. Volunteers can join a committee to help organize and participate in fundraisers and special events. As a wise old proverb states “many hands make light work.”

Meet Hospice Volunteers, Sherry & Andy

Volunteers Sherry and Andy LankSherry and Andy bring the perspective of caring for loved ones at the end of their lives and finding comfort and support through Homeland Hospice. “Helping people who are at the end of their lives makes you forget about your own aches and pains and problems,” says Sherry. “It’s hard to be…” She pauses, looking for the word. “Sorry for yourself when you see the condition of someone else,” says Andy, completing the sentence.

Sherry, who started volunteering in 2012, helps Homeland Hospice patients with whatever they need, whether it’s getting groceries, reading out loud, or sitting and talking. “One woman I visited, we’d sit and watch Hallmark movies,” she says. Sherry also helps with paperwork, freeing staff “to do more important things.”

Andy started volunteering in January 2015, after retiring from a career in installing and servicing dental equipment. Homeland Hospice personalizes services to the needs of families and patients, he says, and they understand that “everybody deals with grief in their own way.” He has helped with administrative work, built a storage shelf, and visited patients. As a U.S. Navy veteran, Andy also joined an initiative to honor hospice patients who are veterans. He goes to them, wearing a Navy veteran’s hat, and reads a certificate recognizing their service. “It makes me feel good to see that sparkle in their eye when you mention their military service and they see another vet honoring them,” Andy says. “It feel goods to touch their lives.”

THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A HOSPICE VOLUNTEER

While hospice volunteers have a tremendous impact on the lives of the patients, caregivers, and families they serve, the volunteers themselves also benefit from the giving of their time and talents. Hospice volunteers, particularly those who work directly with patients and families, commonly report:

  • A greater appreciation for life and understanding of what is truly important
  • A deeper understanding and acceptance of the role of death in the process of life
  • An enriched understanding of different cultures and life perspectives
  • A sense of fulfillment and contribution to the community

BECOMING A HOMELAND HOSPICE VOLUNTEER

Homeland Hospice requires prospective volunteers to submit to an interview, PPD tuberculin test, background check, provide references, agree to rules of confidentiality and code of conduct. To ensure volunteers are equipped for the challenge of working with those at end of life, they are required to complete an initial orientation and will be offered continuing education opportunities. A volunteer is able to make their own schedule and share preferences related to their level of comfort.  The Volunteer Coordinator and other members of the Homeland Hospice team provide support and on-going communications and contact. Steps to become a Homeland Hospice volunteer will provide you with complete details.

Get started right away! Complete the online volunteer application form right now, or download a volunteer application form and mail/email to us. Upon receipt, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you.

For more information, Laurie Murry, Volunteer Coordinator, or call at 717-221-7890.

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