You are never required to do anything you aren’t comfortable doing. However, we train our volunteers to assist with physical needs (such as mouth care, positioning in bed or help on and off a commode, to name a few). You don’t have to have a clinical background to help in this area. It is important to keep an open mind. We will make sure you are equipped for each task.
Information for Volunteers
Ready to Make a Difference?
Center for Hospice Care is always looking for compassionate souls to join our volunteer team. Our volunteers represent all ages and life experiences. They are drawn to hospice work for a variety of reasons. Characteristics that define and unite them are compassion and the desire to help others. Their many skills are matched to important tasks within our mission.
Volunteers can be called upon for unique, one-time special projects. However, the greatest need is for those who work directly with patients.
Our needs may vary depending on the area served. It is best to call for more detailed information about the greatest needs in your area.
Most Requested Volunteer Needs
These types of volunteers are frequently needed across our service area:
Home Visit Volunteer: This is our most requested volunteer opportunity (and our ongoing biggest need). These volunteers provide companionship to patients who live in their homes and respite for their caregivers.
Inpatient Care Facility Volunteer: Provide support to patients and families, as well as our staff, in one of our two seven-bed inpatient facilities. (South Bend and Elkhart).
Other Volunteer Needs
Provide support on an on-call basis to patients that reside in extended care facilities and are actively dying.
Call patients and caregivers making sure they are prepared for the weekend.
Provide companionship, socialization or assist with activities for patients residing in nursing homes or assisted living communities.
Assist patients by offering caring touch and massage.
Provide companionship to fellow veterans in our care, and/or present veteran patients with a certificate and pin honoring their service to our country.
Provide haircuts to patients unable to leave their home.
Pets must be licensed by a reputable organization to provide support services to patients.
Provide clerical assistance for a variety of activities.
Provide emotional support through telephone contacts/notes with grieving families during the 13-month period following the death of their loved one.
Make short visits to offer a friendly smile and deliver a small care package.
We are always accepting blankets. This is great for youth groups, National Honor Society projects, Scouts, sewing groups, church groups or even individuals. Do it one time or contribute on an ongoing basis.
Seasonal Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers play an important role at Center for Hospice Care. Preparing our volunteers for service is vitally important for our patients and our volunteers. Volunteers are well equipped and educated on the following:
- Hospice and palliative care philosophy and concepts
- Physiological and psychological aspects of serious illnesses
- Family dynamics and coping
- Communication and listening skills
- Emergency procedures
- Practical care-giving techniques
- Grief and bereavement
- And more!
We understand the demanding schedules of our volunteers and have devised classroom and online training options to accomodate the busiest of people.
For more questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kristiana Donahue at 574-286-1198.
Frequently Asked Questions
For one, we are required to utilize volunteers per Medicare guidelines. More importantly, volunteers assist caregivers by providing opportunities to get away for a much needed break. Our volunteers have many opportunities to help, from respite care, to companionship, pet visitation, Life Bios, bereavement services and more. Volunteers tell the family and patient that they are a valued part of the community.
Center for Hospice Care has a wonderful training program that will prepare the volunteer for their service. There are three levels of training and completing all three levels is 15 hours. Volunteers learn about confidentiality, dementia, polices and procedures and much, much more. What level of training you will need depends on what volunteer opportunity you are interested in. We offer classroom and online training options to best fit the varied schedules of our volunteers.
We want to find the right assignment for you. We want this to be successful for you and our patients. Volunteer services are flexible enough to work around most schedules. We recommend some consistent hours weekly to get the best experience.
Going on vacation or “snow birding” is no problem; just let us know your schedule.
No! You need to be compassionate, willing to help and open to learning.
Being present at the death of a patient is a very personal and individual choice made by the volunteer and the patient/family. We have the 11th Hour Program which provides volunteers to be present with the patient when they are near death, if the patient and family request this support. Since death is often sudden or unpredictable, it is possible that a volunteer might be present.