Hospice calling for volunteers

100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society looking for volunteers

People may have different needs or wants in their volunteerism, says Gayle Dunsmuir, 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society (DHPCS) program director and manager of volunteer resources.

“All volunteerism is good for our own health, so how do we decide where our valuable time and efforts should be put? It is a misconception to think that as a hospice volunteer, one must have had a similar life-threatening disease or a similar death loss,” Dunsmuir says.

In reality these experiences only look the same from a distance, she notes.

Volunteers need to have only experienced enough of the struggles of life to realize the people who helped them most were not the ones with advice, or who said “Everything will be fine‚” or suggested that we shouldn’t be feeling the way we feel, she adds.

“The people who helped the most were the ones who simply stayed and listened.”

That said, the organization needs more volunteers.

People are needed in different areas of the hospice organization. Potential volunteers may have skills in fundraising, working on equipment, or some board executive experience, Dunsmuir says, adding there are lots of opportunities at different jobs if people don’t feel comfortable with one-on-one relationships.

“The training we are offering in March is for anyone who feels they may need it: professionals, people tending their elderly parents, or people who wish to explore their options.”

The DHPCS office, located at the Community Health Centre in the 100 Mile District General Hospital, is open from Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.-noon, to talk with people and, more importantly, to listen, says Dunsmuir.

During the rest of the week the phone lines are monitored twice a day and calls are responded to promptly, she adds.

Dunsmuir notes appointments can be made for other times.

“If exploring what the hospice theme of ‘Simple Gifts, Heart, Hands and Presence’ means and interests you, perhaps hospice will

be a good fit for you.

I would be pleased to talk with you about the volunteering experience you are looking for and how your needs might fit with hospice’s needs.”

 

Adds Dunsmuir: The training is very insightful. It will be useful in many people’s family lives.”

Training runs March 2-3 and March 9-10 and costs $60. For more information or to pre-register, call Dunsmuir at 250-395-7680.