The role of a hospice volunteer is to help support the hospice team by either assisting with back office duties or providing companionship to help fill the gap between family and professional caregivers.
Direct Care Hospice Volunteers
A hospice volunteer is assigned to a hospice patient and their role is to provide companionship and to act as an advocate to assist in meeting the patient’s needs during their time together. Volunteer activities may include:
Hospice Service Area
- Visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes
- Help with shopping and/or errands
- Provide respite for caregiver
- Veteran volunteers who visit Veteran patients and attend We Honor Veterans pinning ceremonies
- Support family members
- Massage Therapy
- Reiki Therapy
- Pet Therapy
No specific skills are needed to be a direct care volunteer, other than having a giving heart, being a good listener, and offering a calming presence. We provide comprehensive basic training which prepares volunteers to work with patients and their families and ensure the volunteer’s comfort level with their role on the hospice team.
Administrative Hospice Volunteers
Opportunities for Administrative volunteers:
- Assemble information packets
- Assist with fund raising
- Answer phones
- File documentation
- Photocopy materials
Prior to beginning administrative service, volunteers attend an orientation session that includes the philosophy and goals of our Hospice program.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Opportunities for Special Events Volunteers:
- Ceremony of Remembrance (Monroe County)
- Golf Tournament (Monroe County)
- Memorial Butterfly Release Ceremony (Yates County)
- Hospice Winemakers Dinner (Ontario County)
- Opportunities for other special events may arise throughout the year
Time Commitments Required
The time commitment varies from case to case. Most families request two hours of care each week, but the duration of time is negotiated between the patient, family and the volunteer.
Hospice volunteers may decide when to volunteer. You need to inform the Volunteer Coordinator when you will be unavailable.
Type of Training
- Hospice volunteers complete a comprehensive orientation based on the Hospice and Palliative Care Association guidelines. Also included in the training are agency policy and procedures and standards.
- In-services are regularly offered and cover a wide range of topics chosen by the volunteers.
Becoming a Hospice Volunteer
- The application process takes about 4-6 weeks.
- Once the volunteer application is received at the volunteer office, it is reviewed and assessed. Reference letters are mailed to the references you have identified on the application.
- A medical screening must be completed at no cost to the volunteer applicant. The screening will include, Rubella Titer, Rubeola Titer if born after 1/1/57, 2 PPDs (chest x-ray if PPD is positive).
- We will discuss this process at training.
- A training/orientation class must be completed by each volunteer applicant.
Tasks a Hospice Volunteer Can Perform
A volunteer can:
- Provide respite care, friendship or transportation for patients and their families
- Run errands for groceries, prescriptions or supplies
- Assist with clerical support and with fund raising
Susan Pauly (Monroe County): (585) 274-4047 or via email at Susan_Pauly@URMC.Rochester.edu
Jan DiDuro (Ontario and Yates Counties): (315) 759-8225 or via email at Janice_DiDuro@URMC.Rochester.edu
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