Thirteen residents from Queen Anne’s and Kent counties recently completed the Hospice of Queen Anne’s 16-hour patient-family volunteer training program which, with the completion of supervised practice, qualifies them to provide emotional support and practical assistance to patients, families and caregivers.
The comprehensive training program is designed to teach volunteers how to companion a patient at the end of life and prepare them with the knowledge and skills to enhance comfort and quality of life. Trainees explore their own feelings about death and dying as they learn how to be with a patient at one of the most vulnerable times in life. Something as simple as holding a hand, playing cards or listening to music together are some of the activities patients enjoy with their volunteers.
“Volunteers bring a different perspective to the patient and family. They are vital to the hospice care team because they truly come to us with an open heart and no self-serving agenda other than the love and caring they bring just by their presence in a home,” said Sharon Loving, supervisor of support services for Hospice of Queen Anne’s.
One of the first assignments for these volunteer graduates is to spend time with patients and families in the Hospice Residence in Centreville under the supervision of the volunteer coordinator and center staff.
“Introducing the volunteer to their first patient/family experience in a supervised environment ensures us and the volunteer that he or she is comfortable and ready to go out on their own to visit patients in a private home or facility,” said Deb Gilmer, volunteer coordinator.
To enroll in volunteer training or inquire about other volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Coordinator Deb Gilmer at 443-262-4112 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about hospice care, visit the website at www.hospiceofqueenannes.org.