Wilson Hospice Care is offering training classes for anyone who would like to assist patients facing terminal illness and their caregivers. The classes will begin November 1 and will continue every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., through November 17. Classes will be held at the Wilson Home Health & Hospice offices, located at 1083 Fairington Dr. in Sidney.
The sessions, conducted by the Wilson Hospice professionals, will include an orientation to the hospice philosophy of care, perspectives on dying, exploring personal interests and motivation for volunteering, understanding the needs of hospice patients and their families, communication skills, and confidentiality.
“Currently, our hospice volunteers provide a vast array of services for our program,” says Terri Esser, Volunteer Coordinator. “In Hospice, volunteers are an important source of emotional support and often develop very meaningful relationships with the patient and their families. We consider our volunteers as our ‘unpaid staff,’” Esser added. “For people who have an interest in volunteering for hospice but are uncomfortable with direct patient contact, there are many other opportunities for the volunteer.”
Opportunities for the hospice volunteer include: providing companionship and emotional support to the patient in their home, in the hospital or extended care facility, or sometimes staying with the patient to relieve family members. Hospice volunteers sometimes assist with household chores or yard work. Hospice volunteers who don’t feel as comfortable working with people who are ill often find great satisfaction in working with the hospice bereavement follow-up program, assisting with office duties or fund raising activities.
During training, volunteers will be able to assess how his or her talents and experiences can best be used to help the terminally ill and their family. “We are looking for compassionate, caring and positive men, women and teenagers who want to work with our wonderful patients, families and staff members,” comments Terri Esser, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteers will have to have a background check done prior to the completion of training.