The Power of Pets
Volunteers may take their own pet to visit a patient or help the support the connection between patients and their own pets through our Pet Peace of Mind program.
Pet Peace of Mind® makes it possible for beloved animals to remain with their owners through their hospice journey. Pets are part of the family, and as such, are deserving of time and attention so their unconditional love continues to be a comfort to the patient.
Hospice volunteers help maintain the pet’s health and well-being by taking it for veterinary or grooming visits, bringing pet food or supplies or helping the family connect with a local adoption agency. On special occasions, a pet may be boarded while the patient is in a Hospice House until we can connect with the family or determine if a foster or adoption may be needed. Volunteers are encouraged to take the pet to the Hospice House for visits with the patient.
A visit from a furry friend often relaxes and calms hospice patients, taking their mind off loneliness, grief and fear. By nature, animals create warmth, caring and a sense of protection.
Volunteers who would like to be Pet Visitors will receive special training and their pets must complete a certification with Project PUP or Pet Therapy International to be eligible for visits in patient homes or facilities. Pet Visitors often find it’s just as enjoyable for their pet as it is for the patient. In addition to visiting patients, visits may be made to other residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities through our Hospice Facility Ambassador program.
Volunteers for Veterans
As part of our We Honor Veterans program, volunteers provide recognition and support for fellow veterans. The special bond that veterans share carries over into hospice care as veteran patient often feel they relate more easily with other veterans. Vet-Vet companion visits provide understanding and camaraderie for our veteran patients.
Veteran Recognition Ceremonies are a dignified celebration of military service that is always much appreciated by veterans as well as their family members. The national anthem, pledge of allegiance and hymn of the veteran’s military branch help to make this a special occasion.
Hospice care includes care for the whole person–body, soul and spirit. Chaplains are assisted in providing spiritual care by specially trained volunteers who may sit quietly with patients, read to them from religious materials of the patient’s choosing or offer prayers that bring them comfort.
Volunteers are screened, selected, and trained by Chaplain after receiving patient support training.
Hospice Patient Support volunteers may also participate in other types of specialty visits including:
Hospice patients often welcome the opportunity to have help writing down their personal memoirs. Volunteers spend time with patients and help them record special memories in a short booklet that can be a keepsake for family members.
Errands or Transportation
Hospice patients or Transitions clients may be housebound and need help to obtain groceries or go to a doctor’s appointment. Volunteers will only transport patients (and their caregiver if necessary) if they can get in and out of the car without assistance. Volunteers must attend Patient Support training, provide proof of auto insurance and maintain a favorable driving record.
Comfort Touch and Aroma Experience
Trainings are provided several times a year for complementary therapies which include providing light hand massage (comfort touch) and use of essential oils to provide comfort to patients.