April 17, 2012

Why People Volunteer With Hospice…


The NHPCO reports that in 2012, an estimated 458,000 hospice volunteers provided more than 21 million hours of service to hospice programs.

It is federally mandated, under Medicare, that five percent of all patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers. This requirement underscores the important role that hospice volunteers play in caring for the dying and their family caregivers.

These volunteers bring companionship to people in the final months and weeks of life, often a time when people find themselves cut off from the community, isolated and alone. They bring respite to family caregivers who are caring for dying loved ones and struggling with their own grief and loss. They provide valuable support with local outreach efforts, fundraising events and administrative tasks.

With this being said…why would one want to volunteer at hospice? We can think of a few reasons…

While sadness is always a factor in hospice…it isn’t the only one. There is wisdom, happiness and positive reflection as well. In fact, there is great care, love and even humor in serving patients. You get to see people who are truly themselves because they are at the end of life. A hospice volunteer doesn’t administer medicine or ease pain in the way a physician or nurse can, but they can ease suffering by just being present, listening to a story or holding a hand.

A great documentary was created called “Lessons For The Living” which details the lives of hospice volunteers. Here is an excerpt.

We hope that you will pause this week to say “thank you” to our volunteers.  Last year. HPCG volunteers provided over 16,333 hours of service to our organization at an estimated cost savings of over $100,000 to our agency.  9%of HPCG’s direct patient care was provided by volunteers versus the 5% mandated by Medicare.

Our volunteers are truly amazing and we could not provide our care without them.  Please make sure that you thank our volunteers every opportunity you get and especially this week.  They truly are angels among us.

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week!