Other voices: Volunteer at Hospice and open your heart | TheUnion.com

Other voices: Volunteer at Hospice and open your heart

I was drawn to complete the Hospice of the Foothills’ training as a respite volunteer last spring after witnessing what comfort this organization has to offer patients and their families.

Being a respite volunteer has helped me to grow within my own mindfulness and compassion practices. I have been rewarded by the experiences of connection with my patients and their caregivers and am touched by their willingness to share their life stories, to laugh and to cry with me.

I have known three people, prior to becoming a volunteer, who benefited from the care of Hospice of the Foothills. Each of them was an inspiring example of dying well. Hospice took care of personal details and arrangements. They helped the loved ones they left behind, through their own example.

I have assisted six hospice clients in my first year. Each one open-heartedly allowed me into her life. I visited some patients only once or twice, and others became a part of my life while I visited with them over the course of several months.

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be of service, and I would heartily recommend becoming a Hospice of the Foothills’ volunteer. All you need is a willingness to open your own heart to the gift of generously giving of yourself to others.

In addition, there are other opportunities to volunteer your time with Hospice, or you can make donations to Hospice thrift shops or a monetary donation directly to Hospice.

Next week, Hospice of the Foothills begins its annual four-day training program, which prepares volunteers to work with patients, their families and caregivers.

Training is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 19, March 21, March 26 and March 28. To register, or for more information, call Volunteer Coordinator Janis Lewis at 272-5739.

Topics covered in the training include the history and philosophy of hospice care; duties and responsibilities of the hospice volunteer; effective listening and communication skills; family dynamics and maintaining boundaries; psychosocial aspects of the dying process; hospice from the nurse’s perspective; patient care; comfort measures and ethics; death, spirituality and related issues; and understanding grief and the bereavement process.

Please call us for an application.


In addition to being a respite volunteer, Joy Anton teaches corporate and private yoga and meditation.

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