Have you resolved to get more involved in your community in the New Year? Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of those around you? Allen Hospice is seeking individuals who are interested in learning more about becoming a hospice volunteer.
Allen Hospice will offer a four-part orientation and training course beginning on Wednesday, January 9, and continuing January 16, 23 and 30, for individuals interested in volunteering with hospice patients and their families. All sessions will meet on Wednesdays from 8:30 AM – Noon on the first floor of Allen Hospital, 1825 Logan Avenue, in Waterloo. Allen Hospice provides physical, emotional and spiritual care for end-of-life patients in their place of residence, including their homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes or in a hospital.
“Our volunteers provide compassion and care and are very important to a patient’s and family’s hospice experience,” explained Linda Alexandres, volunteer coordinator at Allen Hospice.             “Becoming a hospice volunteer is an excellent way to make an impact in the community. Many of our volunteers state that hospice service is fulfilling, life-affirming, and an honor and a privilege. We offer many opportunities for individuals to serve, depending on their interest, time and talents.”
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), approximately 468,000 hospice volunteers provided 22 million hours of service in the United States during 2009. Hospice volunteers work in three general areas: direct patient care – spending time with patients and families; clinical support – providing clerical and other services that support patient care and clinical services; and general support – helping with fundraising efforts and other projects.
Allen Hospice volunteers who choose to work in direct care may spend time reading to and visiting with patients or providing respite care to allow family caregivers a break. Support work may include helping with mailings and other special projects. And because Allen Hospice serves patients living within a 50-mile radius of Waterloo, there are many volunteering opportunities available in different communities.
All individuals interested in becoming a hospice volunteer must complete an orientation and training program. The session provides in-depth education about the end-of-life process. Participants will learn about the goals of hospice, care and comfort measures, the psychosocial and spiritual dynamics of death and dying, grief and bereavement support, and much more.
For more information about becoming an Alleospice volunteer, please call Linda Alexandres at 319-235-5027 or email at AlexanLL@ihs.org