Hospice of South Texas provides volunteer services in order to enhance the quality of care delivered to patients and their families, to maximize program and family resources, and to encourage community participation in the delivery of hospice care.
Upon completion of an extensive training program, hospice volunteers provide comfort and companionship as well as practical assistance with family needs. Volunteers also serve as a relief to caregivers, allowing them ‘time-out’ while the volunteer attends to the patient.
The Hospice of South Texas Volunteer Training Course is mandatory for those individuals who choose to work DIRECTLY with patients and their families and is highly recommended for all volunteers.
Volunteers who prefer to help more INDIRECTLY, in the office or with fundraising, need only attend the first session of a training.
The training is filled with valuable information, which can be used in your work as a Hospice of South Texas Volunteer as well as in your personal life.
Begin a profoundly fulfilling chapter in your life!
You matter because you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.
—Dame Cicely Saunders, M.D. Founder of the Modern Hospice Movement
This quote expresses the true meaning of hospice. We at Hospice of South Texas cannot hope to carry out this philosophy without the valuable contributions of dedicated hospice volunteers.
As a hospice volunteer, you will be in a unique position to provide an extra dimension of timely and comforting support (directly or indirectly) to dying patients and their families and/or to walk beside family members in their grief. By finding it in your heart to make this wonderful contribution during the part of life called dying, you are honoring life itself and helping to make the loving part of hospice care visible and tangible.
Hospice of South Texas offers varied opportunities for you to volunteer your time and talents. Whether you become involved in direct patient companionship, bereavement support, or one of the many indirect support services, you will be an important and valued part of our organization and the services we provide.
Working as a hospice team member, you will help patients and caregivers to maintain a sense of normalcy and quality of life. Comforting activities may include: assisting with life review, reading to the patient, giving foot, back and hand rubs, running errands, preparing or bringing simple meals, light housekeeping, offering ‘time-out’ for caregivers, praying (the Rosary, for example) when asked, feeding patients in the Nursing Home (must be inserviced), playing dominoes or cards, helping with letter writing, and more.
You may provide assistance with special needs of patients and families by making minor home repairs, wheelchair ramp construction, light sewing, barbering & hair styling (must be licensed), running errands (such as grocery shopping), assisting in the office with gifts for patients, knitting or crocheting prayer shawls for patients, massage therapy (must be registered), picking up and sorting food boxes from the food bank, delivering food boxes, fans, supplies (not drugs), flowers, meals, gift baskets to patients’ homes, doing occasional yard work, witnessing the signing of documents, providing one time relief for caregivers, singing to patients, and more.
You may befriend the survivors and offer support to them in the months following the death of their loved ones. From attending the funeral to occasional cards, phone visits, and planned outings, you’ll walk beside them, helping to bring meaning back into their lives. You’ll learn to listen to their pain and assure them that their feelings are normal and necessary in the grief process. You may send mailings of materials on grief, help with our Services of Remembrance and grief support workshops, encourage the bereaved to attend, and more.
These activities are for those of you who prefer to help the patients and families on Hospice of South Texas without direct contact with patients. You might give presentations on hospice topics, or help with agency mailings, filing, data entry, receptionist duties, raising funds, doing handy man tasks in the offices, and more, promoting and actively participating in support of Hospice of South Texas.
These volunteers help with mailings, filing, data entry, booklet, packet, and manual assembling, handyman office tasks and much more.