Brenda, Why Volunteer?
I came across Embrace Hospice as a pre-med student. I decided to become a volunteer because I wanted to learn more about the other side of healthcare that one does not usually see—what happens at the end of life? Embrace Hospice does a great job teaching its volunteers about the hospice philosophy.
Todd, Why Volunteer?
I really love the elderly. I love hearing their story and learning what they still have to give back. Volunteering with hospice wasn't about the dying, it was about the living!
Melissa, Why Volunteer?
My brother-in-law, was in the hospital and we brought him home under the care of Embrace Hospice. We loved everyone on the team so I decided that when I had time, I would become a volunteer.
What Does a Volunteer Do?
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 .
Who Can Volunteer?
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:
Volunteers range in age from teens to senior citizens. Some volunteers come to hospice as part of their high school or college course requirements. Some individuals experienced the benefits of hospice through the loss of a loved one and now want to give back through serving others during this difficult time. Some volunteers have professional skills or specialized expertise, but most are just empathetic people who want to help and serve their community. The most important characteristics of volunteers for Embrace Hospice are an empathetic heart, a desire to help others and a big smile!
Embrace Hospice, LLC
San Antonio Hospice Care
5835 Callahagn Rd, Suite 500
San Antonio, Tx 78228
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