Hospice volunteers provide support for patients who are receiving end-of-life care and their caregivers. Whether sitting vigil at a dying patient’s bedside, playing a game of cards with a patient or just sitting near a patient, volunteers enable caregivers to take a much needed break. Hospice volunteers are very special and selfless people who give the gift of time. Often, they are referred to as the Heart of Hospice.
Parkview Hospice volunteers serve patients in Fort Wayne, Columbia City, Huntington, Kendallville, LaGrange and other surrounding communities. Volunteers can choose to visit patients in the same or a different community.
Individuals interested in volunteering may choose from the following activities:
- Visiting and Bereavement volunteers — Provide temporary relief for the caregiver to read a book or leave the home for a period of short time. Support for the grieving family members and caregivers may include looking at old photo albums or meeting with other family members or friends to enjoy a cup of coffee. Tasks may include talking with, reading to or listening to patients or providing emotional support to the hospice patient and family.
- Spice-of-Life volunteers — May perform yard work, wash cars, do light house cleaning, put up holiday decorations or they may have a license or certificate to provide special care to patients. Examples include special training as a barber or with a visiting pet.
- Errands and Office volunteers — Perform a wide variety of office and support functions. Examples include answering phones, typing, assembling mailings, filing, and assisting with fundraising and public relations projects.
Parkview Hospice also offers programs, including:
Hospice Helpers — A program that enables volunteers to perform tasks and support office staff. It does not require that the volunteer be in contact with patients. Duties may include making bears, gowns or lap throws for patients, as well as assembling mailings to recruit volunteers or promote fundraisers. Volunteer can also assist at the Parkview Whitley Hospice Pumpkin Run in Columbia City and Kendallville Festival of Trees, both important hospice fundraisers.
Vet-to-Vet — A program that pairs Hospice volunteers who are military veterans with military veteran patients. Volunteers support grieving patients and their family members similar to Visiting and Bereavement volunteers. Often, military veteran volunteers have a special understanding of the veteran patients’ needs, because of their military experience.
How to begin
If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the Hospice Volunteer application.
All volunteers are required to complete a training session and orientation that last for four to 20 hours, depending on the selected volunteer program. Volunteers must complete mandatory safety and continuing education each year provided by Parkview Hospice. New volunteers are asked to make a one-year commitment to the volunteer program and set aside one to four hours per week for their volunteer assignments.
State law requires all home health and hospice staff member to have a criminal history check completed. After you begin training, you will be asked to schedule an appointment to complete medical testing. Parkview pays for both services.
Training/orientation classes are held throughout the year at various locations throughout northeast Indiana. Parkview staff is available to present information about the hospice program and volunteering opportunities to interested community members, churches or other groups. Call Mauna Cowan, volunteer coordinator, Parkview Hospice, at (260) 373-9800 or (800) 363-9977 to request more information.