Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear Volunteer Program

What do volunteers mean to hospice?
Throughout the history of hospice, volunteers have been the heart of hospice. They are involved in all facets of hospice care and services.

What work do hospice volunteers perform?
After appropriate training, about half of Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear volunteers work with patients and family members, providing a supportive presence. Others assist in hospice offices and the Hospice Care Center, act as volunteer chaplains, make presentations about end-of-life care, help with special events, work on fund-raising activities, and serve on hospice boards and committees.

Why do we have hospice volunteers?
At its beginning, hospice was established as a free volunteer service that coordinated nursing care and volunteer support for the terminally ill. Today, more than 20 years later, that same volunteer spirit enables Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear to continue to provide its needed services.

Even the federal government recognizes the necessity of volunteers in hospice. The Hospice Medicare Benefit requires community involvement in patient care. The hours donated by patient care volunteers must equal 5 percent of the hours worked by paid patient care staff.

Who are hospice volunteers?
People of all ages and from all walks of life volunteer with hospice. Eighty-five percent of our volunteers have personally seen the value of hospice services. Most are concerned about end-of-life care issues and have a desire to help others.

How does someone become a hospice volunteer?
Indicate interest on our Volunteer Program Interest Form or contact the Volunteer Program manager at 910-815-3962. Potential volunteers meet with the Volunteer Program manager to discuss a match between their interests and current volunteer opportunities. After training, individuals can begin volunteer service.

Does Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear offer support to its volunteers?
Before starting volunteer work, Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear patient care volunteers attend a training session. Throughout the year, support groups and continuing education sessions are held on a regular basis for hospice volunteers.

What volunteer opportunities are available?
-Patient Care in the Community: Serve patient in the home, providing respite, running errands or serving as an emotional support to patients and families.

-Patient Care in the Hospice Care Center: Work with families, patients, and staff, assisting with ice water for patients, feeding patients, reading to patients and helping the staff throughout the day.

-Answer Phones at the Administrative Offices: Assist to allow staff time off.

-Front Desk at Hospice Care Center: Greet families and friends of patients as they enter, answering phones on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.

-Office Assistance: Provide assistance in administrative departments.

-Bereavement: Assist bereavement counselors with phone calls, letters and support groups as needed.

-Surveys: Calling families to survey their feelings about the hospice service provided.

-EduCare Department: Experienced public speakers make presentations to groups on topics related to hospice services and end-of-life care issues including advance care planning, communicating with family and health care providers about end-of-life care, and grief.

-Watchman Program Volunteer: A faith community's trained Watchman Representative ensures the congregation is informed about hospice services and recruits volunteers from the congregation.

-Meals of Love: Provide meals for one week each year for families and friends of patients at the Hospice Care Center, individual or group participation.

-Health Fair Assistance: Manage hospice and EduCare displays at local health fairs, usually on weekends, includes setting up displays and helping provide information.

-Fund Raising: Assist hospice fund-raising department with special events throughout the year such as golf tournaments and Festival of Trees.

-Boards and Committees: Serve on the board of directors, the governing body of hospice, the endowment board, and on advisory committees as needed.

Copyright © Hospice of the Lower Cape Fear, 2001