[Reviewed and updated April 16, 2023]
As noted in Healing through the Gift of Volunteering, at some point in the course of your own grief journey you may find yourself thinking about becoming a hospice volunteer. The agency with which I was affiliated for 17 years, Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ, was founded by volunteers, and to this day, volunteers at Hospice of the Valley are considered vital members of the team, supporting dying patients and their families and offering respite care. As part of HOV's Bereavement Services, they assist staff members with office tasks, special projects, sending condolence cards and preparing bulk mailings. Through periodic telephone calls over a 13-month period following the death, volunteers offer compassion, understanding and support, as well as referral to appropriate resources, to bereaved individuals whose family members were Hospice of the Valley patients.
This is National Volunteer Week, and hospices all over the country are recognizing the vital role played by volunteers in caring for dying patients and their families. According to the Hospice Foundation of America, over 460,000 hospice volunteers provide more than 20 million hours of service annually.
If you're thinking about becoming a hospice volunteer and want to learn more, take 16 minutes to watch this informative video:
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