Due to WA State Health Department regulations, Patient/Family Volunteers MAY NOT provide personal or medical care, dispense medications, transport, lift or transfer patients, assist with walking or toileting, or pick up individuals who have fallen. Volunteers MAY NOT visit families or caregivers after the patient has died.
Ways you can volunteer for Hospice of the Northwest
Offer support and companionship to dying patients and their families or caregivers. Volunteers serve as friendly visitors and/or provide respite care while loved ones shop or run errands. They listen to stories, share experiences, read aloud, play cards, watch movies, help with letter writing, record memories, assist with chores and more. Volunteers find this work to be truly meaningful. Companionship visits are generally 1-2 hours weekly; respite visits are usually 3-4 hrs/weekly.
Tuck In Volunteer
Make weekly phone calls to insure that patients living in private residences are comfortable and have sufficient medications, equipment and supplies to last through the upcoming weekend. Calls are made Thursday mornings between 9-11am, which gives Hospice staff time to insure issues are resolved before the weekend. This is a weekly commitment although substitutes are needed periodically.
Vigil Team Volunteer
Sit with patients during the last 24 – 48 hours of life, providing comfort, reassurance and solace. They also offer support to families and caregivers. Sitting at the bedside or being in the home of a dying patient is a very private and intimate time. Vigil volunteers are privileged to be invited to share in this experience. Vigil volunteers complete Patient/Family volunteer training and a short Vigil Training. They complete a 3 – 4 hour shift (as available) one or more times during vigils. Vigil activities may include gentle touch, lighting candles, playing soft music, sharing comforting words, or sitting in silence.
This innovative program helps dementia patients recover their memories through listening to favorite music from the past. Volunteers create personalized playlists for patients, enabling them to hear favorite songs on Ipods with head-phones. Programs like this have had resounding success in connecting with those who are non-verbal, withdrawn or socially isolated.
Resource Center Library
Volunteers maintain the Resource Library in the lobby, containing over 1100 books and DVD’s about death, dying, grief and spirituality. These volunteers come in weekly for about 2 hours. To view our online library visit: Hospice of the Northwest Resource Library
This online version of our library is graciously set up by the City of Burlington Public Library.
Patient Engagement Volunteer
Provide follow-up phone calls to individuals discharged from Hospice services and those not taken for care (due to not meeting eligibility requirements). Will ask questions to determine whether patient now meets admission criteria. Coordinates with Referral Center staff.
Volunteers who are veterans are preferred for this position. Volunteer will spearhead efforts to recognize Hospice patients who are veterans. Will keep current with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans Program. If available, accepts the assignments of patients who are veterans.
Patient Assurance Volunteer
Provides regular phone calls or visits to patients to check on safety and well-being.
Patient Cheer Volunteer
Plans/carries out craft sessions to make items for patients and families; coordinates a flower delivery program.
These special Volunteer/Dog Teams provide comforting visits to HNW patients. Each Team is trained and evaluated by the Pet Partners Organization. Positive human-animal interactions have been shown to improve the physical, emotional and psychological lives of those served. It has been demonstrated that pet visits can lower blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels and stimulate the release of endorphins.
Administrative and office volunteers may assist with typing, data entry, photocopying, scanning, assembling booklets, medical records filing, mailings, and special projects. They serve weekly, monthly, or as needed.
Assembles patient admit packets, nursing packets and sends out bereavement mailings.
Hospice volunteers sew “butterfly” pillows, “busy mats” and “marble rolls” for patients. This can be done at home at one’s convenience. Fabric and notions provided. Volunteers can also sew hospital gowns and catheter bag covers for patients – Click here for patterns!