Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare is offering volunteer training to members of the community who are interested in supporting patients and families facing a life-limiting illness or injury. The training starts on Mondays, beginning Feb. 20 through April 24, 6-8:30 pm, at the Marilyn B. and Mark E. Gustafson Center for Supportive Care on the Wooster campus of Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare (1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691).
Volunteers play a vital role as members of the hospice care team. “Just like our patients, volunteers represent all ages, religions and ethnic backgrounds,” said Elisa Stoyle, manager of Volunteer Services at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare. “Each volunteer brings unique skills and experiences to the volunteer role of their choosing.”
The focus of the volunteer training is on equipping people to help terminally ill persons live their lives to the fullest for as long as possible.
“Our volunteers make a difference in the lives of our patients and families,” Stoyle said. “They help enhance the quality of life for our patients through companionship, music, animal-assisted therapy, and spiritual support.”
Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare is seeking the following volunteers:
- Military Veterans who are willing to support patients who are Veterans.
- Hairstylists who are willing to offer haircuts to patients who are no longer able to leave their homes.
- Multilingual speakers who can support patients for whom English is a second language.
- Volunteers who can help family caregivers by giving them a break or assistance with household tasks.
- Animal-assisted therapy volunteers who are willing to visit patients and their families.
The volunteer training addresses the following topics:
- Preparation in hospice history and philosophy
- Active listening and communication techniques
- Pain and symptom control
- Hospice care in private homes, nursing homes, and the Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion
- Hands-on care
- Infection control
- Meeting the emotional needs of dying and grieving persons
- Spiritual care of dying and grieving persons
- Bereavement care training
An abbreviated training also is provided for those who are interested in volunteering at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare in a non-patient role, such as administrative support, or buildings and grounds work.
“Hospice volunteering is about being a good neighbor,” Stoyle said. “It is about people of this community helping their neighbors at a critical time in their lives.”
Even if an individual isn’t sure about becoming a hospice volunteer, they are encouraged to attend the first session of training.
“It’s the perfect way to find out if this is something you would like,” Stoyle said. “If you decide to join our team, you will support our mission to celebrate the lives of those we have the privilege of serving by providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family.”
Those who are interested should contact Stoyle at EStoyle@LifeCareHospice.org or 330.264.4899 or 800.884.6547.
Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, a not-for-profit organization established in 1982, is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice that serves communities in northeast Ohio. It embodies the spirit of neighbors caring for neighbors with a commitment to relieve suffering, ease fears, and provide companionship along life’s last journey. Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare addresses patient and family needs wherever the patient calls home. Services also include access to the Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion, providing short-term patient care to manage acute symptoms, adjust medications, or stabilize patient condition. The Marilyn B. and Mark E. Gustafson Center for Supportive Care includes Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare’s Volunteer Services, the Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Center, and transportation service and support.