Our Hospice could not provide the compassionate work we do without the excellent support of our caring and dedicated volunteers. Volunteers provide a variety of services to assist the patient, family, organization or community. There are many ways a volunteer can contribute.
Ways to Volunteer
Patient-family advocates visit with patients and their families in the home, often to give the primary caregiver a break. Volunteers allow patients to take the lead during visits. They are willing to chat or to listen; to read to someone or listen to music; or almost any light task the patient or caregiver requests. Sometimes a volunteer might simply sit quietly while a patient sleeps in the next room, or talk with family members who just need a listening ear. Volunteers also may shop for groceries or run errands for the patient and caregiver.
Administrative volunteers help in our offices by filing records, writing thank you notes, updating admission packets, organizing supplies, answering phones, and other tasks as needed.
Bereavement volunteers provide direct and indirect support to the bereaved. They might provide telephone support, assemble mailings, assist with bereavement support groups, or help with memorial services.
Vigil volunteers are experienced volunteers who sit in shifts with actively dying patients who have no family members present, or when requested. They might read for the patient, or play soothing music or simply be there as a caring presence.
Community outreach and fund-raising volunteers help share information with our community or assist in raising funds to support our mission. Volunteers who enjoy public speaking might consider joining our Speakers Bureau and sharing the Hospice Care of the Lowcountry story with local groups.
Fund-raising assistance can include serving on event committees, assisting at our events, or writing thank you notes.
Animal lovers might be interested in volunteering themselves and their favorite pooch for our Hos-Pets therapy program. Volunteers and their canine companions undergo special training to be certified Hos-Pets visitors in local nursing homes, assisted living residences and patients’ home upon request. All dogs must be certified Canine Good Citizens through our trainer, Abby Bird. For more information call Abby at 843.304.4327.
“Pet Peace of Mind” provides volunteers to meet the needs of the pet in the home. They ensure the pet is focused on so the family can focus on the patient and ensure that the animal of the home remains a healthy dedicated part of the family too. They may provide exercise or trips to the vet and groomer.
“We Honor Veterans” focuses on patient veterans and volunteer veterans. This committed program of Hospice Care of the Lowcountry recognizes the unique needs of our military veterans at the end of life and provides volunteers with similar military background to provide compassionate listening, respectful inquiry and grateful acknowledgement to our United States Veterans.
The members of our Board of Directors all are volunteers.
Hospice Care of the Lowcountry offers a 16-hour training course for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer. Training provides education and instruction in the following areas:
- Introduction to Hospice Philosophy of care and the patient/family as the unit of care.
- Role of the volunteer in hospice and the volunteers duties and responsibilities
- Confidentiality and the privacy of protected health information
- Patient/family rights
- Hospice in the nursing home
- Concepts of death and dying
- Grief and loss
- Comfort measures
- Communication skills
- Psychosocial and spiritual issues related to death and dying
- Signs and symptoms of approaching death and procedures following the death of a patient
- Infection control, safety and emergency preparedness
- Coping with stress
- Volunteer support, educational opportunities and contact information of the Volunteer Coordinator and Clinical Director
- Documentation and record-keeping requirements
Classes will prepare volunteers to assist in meeting the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of Hospice Care patients and their families. The training is open to all Beaufort and Jasper county adult residents. No previous experience is required. Background and reference checks are conducted.
If you are interested in becoming a Hospice Care of the Lowcountry Volunteer, please contact Maggie Clark, BSW Director of Volunteers at 843.706.2296 or [email protected].