I finished my training last week to work as a hospice volunteer.
For those of of you who don’t know about hospice, hospice provides the opportunity for people who are terminally ill to die at home in the care of their loved ones and friends.
The staff and trained volunteers of the organization that I volunteer with here in Toronto provides and facilitates access to compassionate care for people with life threatening illnesses, offering them support options, honouring their choices and supporting their families and friends.
The Hospice works on a care team model, with the belief that teams of caregivers from different walks of life can best meet the needs of someone who chooses to die at home. A care team often includes spouses or partners, families, friends, neighbours, colleagues, doctors, nurses, personal support workers and volunteers.
The Hospice can help set up the team, provide team members with training and support, and supplement the team with skilled volunteers if required.
Hospice volunteers may do the following:
-care-giving such as helping a person move around, mouth care, bed and personal care
– respite care (giving caregivers a break)
– assist with meal preparation
– provide emotional and spiritual support
The training was 30 hours over a 2 week period and it was very intense in terms of absorbing a lot of information and emotionally.
I’m now waiting to be assigned to my first client and of course I am very nervous. From what I have been told by the other volunteers my life will probably never be the same. This is quite a blessing in my life.
by James T. McCay
with Richard E. Ward
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