Hospice care volunteers are an essential part of the hospice philosophy of care which recognizes that dying is not just a medical event but a personal one as well. These volunteers are important members of an interdisciplinary team working to “de-institutionalize” the dying experience and provide a more humane system of care for the dying and their families.
Volunteers in hospice care find it personally gratifying, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally meaningful to assist those in need at a critical point in their lives. Many of these volunteers were introduced to hospice through the death of a family member and understand firsthand the value of hospice care. Volunteers consistently report that helping the terminally ill through hospice is not about dying but about living.
To ensure that they are equipped for the challenge of working with the dying, our hospice care volunteers are given consistent supervision from staff and are prepared through comprehensive thirty-three hour training, as well as participation in ongoing education forums that explore the volunteer experience. We require that all volunteers who work directly with clients submit to a routine background check.
“Last year I was a caregiver for my dying mother and without the time and support of the kind volunteers at Brattleboro Area Hospice I know my mother wouldn’t have received the gift of dying in her own home. BAH’s gift to me was time to myself away from the house to regroup and to recharge – many times I simply took an hour to unwind with a friend – and I could do so comfortably knowing that my mother would be extremely well cared for. I am very grateful
for their service and hope that it survives for generations to come.”