Volunteer Opportunities at Hospice of the Northwest
Hospice of the Northwest volunteers strengthen our care team by providing a caring, comforting, loving presence to our patients and their circles of support. Most often, volunteers contribute to patient care by simply being there for another person; holding hands, reassuring, listening to concerns, and providing a peaceful presence. Hospice volunteers are integral members of a patient’s care team, serving 30 or more hours annually. Volunteers may work directly with patients, assist in the office, help with community relations, support fundraising events, or work on special projects. Whatever your interests or skills, we have a volunteer position to suit you.
Volunteering in the Field
Animal Assisted Activities Volunteer
These special hospice volunteers coordinate with a third-party licensed and certified Therapy Animal Team to provide comforting visits to Hospice of the Northwest patients. Positive human-animal interactions have been shown to improve the physical, emotional, and psychological lives of those served.
These volunteers offer support and companionship to hospice patients and their circles of support. Volunteers serve as friendly visitors and can provide respite support while loved ones leave the home to shop or run errands. Volunteers listen to stories, read aloud, play cards, watch movies, assist with letter writing, record memories, assist with light chores, and more. Volunteers find this work truly meaningful. Companionship visits are generally 1-2 hours weekly; respite visits are usually 2-4 hours weekly.
Pet Peace of Mind Volunteer
These volunteers coordinate with patients and families to provide in-home pet care, as well as help the patient write the re-homing agreement for their animal. The goal for these hospice volunteers is to support our patient’s animals so the pet can remain with the patient for as long as possible. This program is part of the national Pet Peace of Mind network.
Veterans Engagement Volunteer
Volunteers who are U.S. Military Veterans are preferred for this position. Volunteers spearhead efforts to recognize Hospice patients who are veterans. They keep current with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program and accept assignments of patients who are also U.S. Military Veterans. Learn more about our specialized Veteran services and programs.
Vigil volunteers will sit with patients during the last 24 – 48 hours of life to provide comfort, reassurance, and solace. Vigil volunteers complete patient/family volunteer training and additional 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.
Music and Memory® Volunteer
The volunteers in this role have a simple, elegant, and effective approach. They are trained to build personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods and other digital devices, for those in their care. These musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can stimulate alertness. Music and Memory® can help patients feel like themselves again; to converse, socialize, and stay present. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please check out the “ALIVE INSIDE” DVD from our Resource Library or visit the Music and Memory® website.
Volunteering in the Office
These volunteers receive additional training in Bereavement and Grief and Loss. Their role is to assist our bereavement team with phone calls and mailings to support the loved ones of patients who pass on our service.
Clerical and Office Support Volunteer
Clerical 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. They are also helpful in assembling patient admit packets, informational visit packets, and outreach materials.
Clinical Communications Volunteer
Attends one Clinical Interdisciplinary Team Meeting each week (Tues, Weds or Thurs, 8:15 – 11:30 am), takes notes regarding pertinent information to be passed on to volunteers, and follows up with patient volunteers. This role is currently done from the volunteer’s home via Zoom.
Resource Center Library Volunteer
Volunteers maintain the Resource Library in our lobby. This library contains over 1200 books and DVDs about death, dying, inspiration, grief, and spirituality. These volunteers come in weekly for about 2 hours to catalog and maintain the inventory of the library.
Patient Engagement Volunteer
In this position, volunteers provide follow-up phone calls to individuals discharged from hospice services, and to those individuals not taken for care (due to not meeting eligibility requirements). The volunteers ask questions to determine whether a patient now meets admission criteria and might want to reconsider hospice admission.
Coordination and communication with the Referral Center staff is part of this role.
The volunteers in this position make weekly phone calls to ensure 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 am – 12 pm (noon) which gives hospice staff time to make sure issues are resolved before the weekend. This is a 1-4 time per month commitment.
Hospice volunteers sew butterfly pillows, busy mats, and lap blankets for patients. This can be done at home at the convenience of the volunteer. Fabric and notions are provided. Volunteers can also sew hospital gowns and catheter bag covers for patients.
Become A Volunteer Today
Volunteering with hospice makes a difference for patients, giving you the opportunity to improve someone’s quality
of life as they face a life-limiting illness. We are grateful to the dedicated team of kind-hearted community members
who invest their time supporting hospice care. We have a variety of volunteer positions to best suit you. To take the
next step in becoming a volunteer, fill out our online form and we will reach out shortly.