Volunteers for organizations providing hospice and palliative care are compassionate, community-minded individuals who have a special interest in assisting hospice patients and hospice providers. They are important members of the interdisciplinary team and receive special training.

Volunteers have a number of roles. They become friendly visitors and provide relief for the caregiver of a hospice patient. Patient-family volunteers perform many important functions including sitting with patients; running errands for the patient or caregiver; providing emotional support, and helping to improve the quality of life for patients and families. Following a patient’s death they provide bereavement support.

A number of palliative care programs which provide support for patients with life-limiting illness use volunteers for follow-up calls.

Agencies also regularly need administrative volunteers to help with office duties, special projects, and fundraising. Their efforts reduce administrative costs, releasing resources to enhance patient care.

Anyone interested in making a difference and receiving multiple rewards from giving of themselves and their time is urged to contact the hospice or hospices in your area. See information under Find a Provider button for phone number of the hospice and ask for the Volunteer Director.