Hospice Society looking for a few volunteers

Training offered in all aspects needed to be caring helper

Ken Alexander

Free Press

“Simple gifts, hands, heart and presence are the gifts of a Hospice volunteer,” says Tracy Haddow who is the program director and manager of volunteers for the 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society.

She adds the Hospice Society is offering the opportunity to area residents to learn to use “simple gifts” in the care of the dying and the bereaved.

“It’s very fulfilling work and it’s an honour to be able to support people.”

Haddow notes anyone can make referrals to Hospice if they know someone who is living with a life-threatening illness.

Hospice volunteers

• Are compassionate people who are committed to the Hospice philosophy;

• Offer comfort and support to the individuals living with life-threatening illness and their loved ones, while respecting their beliefs, values and privacy;

• Provide companionship, respite and support through illness, death and the bereavement period; and

• Work with palliative care clients and their loved ones in their own homes, in acute care units or in residential care facilities.

With this in mind, the Hospice Society is looking for more volunteers and is offering a training program on March 20, 21 and 27, 28 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Haddow emphasizes applicants must attend all four days of training.

The course sessions include communication skills, psychosocial issues, physical processes of dying, pain and symptom management, spirituality, family centred care, funeral and legal issues, and grief and self-care for Hospice volunteers.

Training is provided by the society staff, Hospice volunteers and guest speakers.

There is a $65 fee for the course, which includes $60 to cover materials and $5 for a one-year membership in the Hospice Society.

The $60 will be refunded, upon request, to trainees who successfully complete the course and complete 20 hours of volunteer work within six months.

Application forms are available from the Hospice office or at the reception desk in the South Cariboo Health Centre at the back of the 100 Mile District General Hospital at 555 Cedar Ave.

Applications will be reviewed and a pre-training meeting must be completed by March 10.

For more information, contact Haddow at 250-395-7680.