At Embrace Hospice, we are constantly inspired by the stories of life, love, hope, loss and faith that our patients and their families share with us. As they welcome Embrace Hospice into their lives, their story becomes our story. And a vital part of the story of so many of the patients and families Embrace Hospice cares for is the role of our hospice volunteers.

Hospice volunteers help provide patients and families with compassionate care and support during the end-of-life process. The level of personal connection and support that volunteers provide allows for a greater level of end-of-life care satisfaction for patients receiving hospice care. The value of hospice volunteers cannot be overstated. Volunteers are commonly perceived by hospice patients and families as ordinary members of their local community. This relationship provides a feeling of normality for patients, as well as patients’ families and friends. Volunteers often connect with patients on a deep, personal level, which provides the hospice care team with valuable insights concerning the overall impact of the level of comfort and care that is provided.

A part of what makes hospice volunteers so valuable, and such impactful members of a patient’s care team, is the unique life perspective and personality they offer. Though each volunteer is unique, there are several common traits that are indicative of an effective hospice volunteer:

  • A spirit of compassion and understanding towards those who are on the end-of-life journey
  • Respect for all ways of life, cultural customs, and religious views
  • A desire to invest their time helping other families
  • The ability to listen and be comfortable in silence

Who Can Volunteer?

Volunteer Training

There are many ways in which hospice volunteers lend their time and effort to Embrace hospice. Whether helping support patients, caregivers, and families directly, or by assisting the hospice with administrative work, there are always tasks in which the unique talents of each volunteer can be put to effective use. The ways in which hospice volunteers provide service are largely grouped into two categories: patient care volunteering and administrative volunteering.

Patient Care Volunteering

Los Abrazos—Serving multi-generational families providing fully bilingual care

Veteran to Veteran—Partnering patients who are veterans with a volunteer who understands the sacrifices they’ve made

Patient Visits—Spending time with patients by reading, talking, watching movies, writing letters—by simply being present in the moment

Family Respite—Giving harried family caregivers a moment to themselves by staying with a patient for a short while

Life Stories—Helping patients leave a living legacy for family and friends by helping preserve their life stories through journaling, video or scrapbooking

Pet Visits—Bringing specially trained pets to share their unconditional love with Embrace Hospice patients

The Last Hour—Ensuring that no one dies alone through a bedside vigil

Celebration of Life—Celebrating the lives of Embrace Hospice patients by helping present our annual memorial service those our patients have left behind

Administrative Volunteering

For volunteers who prefer not to work with patients directly, their time and effort can be put to use in assisting the hospice organization with administrative and general office tasks. Common tasks where indirect care volunteers provide assistance are:

Helping prepare mailings and newsletters for community outreach
Assisting in general data entry tasks and other clerical duties
Helping in preparations and setup for special community events and outings

Student Volunteers/Internships 

Earning valuable community service credits for high school or college by working with Embrace Hospice patients and families

Give.   Be.   Do.

Volunteering is and can be a blessing.  Before beginning volunteer service, hospice volunteers are provided with training. This training prepares volunteers for the administrative services they may perform for the hospice, or the ways in which they will be directly assisting patients, caregivers, and families.   You will meet with the Volunteer Manger, in addition to various members of the staff and Leadership.  Finally, Embrace Hospice sponsors quarterly breakfast continuing education sessions for volunteers to keep learning and expand their knowledge of hospice practices.

Embrace hospice volunteer training includes:

  • Understanding the hospice philosophy of care
  • How to know boundaries as a volunteer when interacting with patients and families
  • An overview of the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of a patient and the patient’s family during the end-of-life journey
  • Understanding the services offered by the hospice organization
  • How to communicate with patients, their families, and friends
  • How to assist patients and families with grief, loss, and bereavement
  • Understanding patient and health information privacy.
  • Infection Control
  • Hospice Ethics

Training at no cost, Volunteer locations throughout greater San Antonio.  Daytime, evening and weekend options available.  Volunteer from home, volunteer a few hours a week, a couple hours a month, or one-time opportunities.   No experience or medical background necessary.

Calling all Military Veterans, and Spanish Speakers, Active Seniors and Students.   Everyone has something to give!

Training, materials, refreshments, gratitude are all free.


What Does a Volunteer Do?

Become part of their story...

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