Become a Friend and an Advocate
Who you are…
Volunteers are an integral part of the Trail Winds Hospice team. Our very accomplished volunteers allow us to personalize, enhance and expand the services that we offer. They serve as friend and advocate, providing non-medical support to patients and family members during difficult times. Volunteers provide companionship and emotional support visits to nursing homes, assisted living apartments and private homes for up to 3 hours a week.
Training and support
Bi-annually, Trail Winds Hospice provides an amazing three weeks (20 hours) training program. This training covers all of the topics necessary to give our volunteers confidence greater understanding of the role of the hospice volunteer. Experts in specific areas teach on medical ethics, the death and dying process, grief and bereavement, etc. This ensures that they have the skills and confidence to prepare them for their roles. Our volunteers adhere to the same code of ethics that governs our professional staff. Although they are of varied ages and backgrounds, all of our volunteers are motivated by compassion and a desire to give their time. Our Volunteer Coordinator enjoys matching the qualities and gifts of a given volunteer to the needs of the patient and family.
- Care and concern for others
- Sincerity and sensitivity
- Ability to be a good listener
- Maturity and self-understanding
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work cooperatively with a team
- Understanding and acceptance of differences in cultures and value systems
- A sense of humor
What Volunteers Do
- Sitting with a patient while family members leave to do errands or other activities (thus providing an important service to caregivers)
- Reading, writing letters or playing a game of cards
- Listening to and recording life stories
- Light massage, comfort touch or Reiki
- Music, singing, art projects
- Light housekeeping, shopping, serving a prepared light meal
- Grief support to family members, including young children
What Our Volunteers Say…
"For families and loved ones to open their hearts and homes to receive hospice care is a gift and a privilege for those of us who volunteer... It is a gift that keeps on giving beyond our time together"
"Disappearing I see you disappearing
Through the thin veil of life.
Each time we meet,
You are a little less there.
I am here watching
As you make the last journey,
Yearning to hold you back,
So we can go on chatting each week,
Trading stories from our lives.
I want to cheat the time frame,
Push back against what I know is possible.
But without the power to make you stay
All I can do is wish you well going home."
"It has been a privilege to sit with the dying. In those quiet, honest moments I meet a truth within myself that we all need to meet as humans."
"Spending time with the dying and their families is one of the most profound reminders of be-ing human, where the do-ing slows down and we are all reminded that we truly live in love and compassion for one another, regardless of one's circumstance and life story. As a result, I don't take any day for granted anymore. Volunteering has been a gift."