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Volunteer training offered at Hospice of the Foothills

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What: Hospice of the Foothills Volunteer Training

When: April 8, 10, 15, 17, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Where: 11270 Rough and Ready Hwy., Grass Valley

Info: Contact volunteer coordinator at 530-272-5739 or visit http://www.hofo.org.

Hospice of the Foothills volunteers provide caring and supportive services to patients and their families who have chosen comfort care at the end-of-life. The nonprofit organization will offer a four-day training to prepare volunteers beginning Monday.

This training is presented twice a year: a four-day training program, which offers education on a variety of hospice care topics and prepares volunteers to work with patients, families and caregivers. Volunteers will receive all of the tools and tips one will need to create an enriching volunteer experience for themselves and those they serve.

"We are fortunate to have such caring individuals step forward and make a commitment to serve in capacities that feel like a natural fit with our volunteers' interests," said Cynthia Meilicke, MS, CT, allied services supervisor at Hospice of the Foothills. "Our volunteers provide a wide variety of critical patient care services that make people feel safe, cared for and informed about end-of-life options.

"Opportunities also exist in non-clinical areas, such as spiritual care, bereavement counseling for individuals and groups, pet visitation, music therapy and clerical support for staff. Our volunteers are shining examples of the compassion found within our community; they are an essential part of that team that makes sure that patients and families — who are our neighbors, coworkers and friends — find comfort, dignity and respect. We are celebrating our volunteers at a special event this year on April 24."

Training Topics include: history and philosophy of hospice care; duties and responsibilities of the Hospice of the Foothills volunteer; psychological and social aspects of the dying process; patient care, comfort measures and ethics; understanding grief and the bereavement process; and spirituality at the end of life.

Typical duties for Hospice of the Foothills volunteers are running errands, meal preparation, offering respite for caregivers and being a friendly visitor. The areas of service covered by Hospice of the Foothills volunteers are Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, North San Juan, Colfax and Auburn.