Make a difference in your community by becoming a hospice volunteer!

What does it look like to volunteer for hospice? Hospice volunteers come from various backgrounds; some have had experience with hospice when a family member was on service, others have worked in the healthcare field and others have no experience whatsoever with hospice.

The common theme with hospice volunteers is compassion and empathy. If you possess these characteristics, along with good listening skills then volunteering with hospice could be the calling that changes your world…for the better. Have you thought about getting involved with the community? Maybe your priorities shifted after living through the pandemic.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, car insurance and will have to pass a background check and drug test. Once volunteers complete training and all required certifications, they may be paired with a patient. How do we go about finding a patient for you? Most times the volunteer may say they only want to visit someone in a certain area, which is something we accommodate. We assign volunteers to patients with similar backgrounds and interests when possible. Pet Peace of Mind allows us to pair experienced pet owners with patients that need assistance with their pets.

Duties might include walking or feeding pet, changing litter box or transportation to appointments. Through this program we are also able to offer financial assistance for pet food, grooming and routine vet care. Mt. Hood Hospice understands the value and importance of pets and the companionship and comfort they offer to patients, especially at their most vulnerable time. We Honor Veterans is a special program where we pair Veteran volunteers with Veteran patients, which can be truly beneficial at end-of-life. At this time, we have over half a dozen Veterans on service and are in need of both male and Veteran volunteers to help serve our clients.

Do you have experience playing an instrument or singing? Music is an amazing way to reach someone when they are unable to speak. Are you and your pet certified for pet therapy? Mt. Hood Hospice is looking for volunteers that will offer pet therapy to our patients.

Generally, volunteers will make weekly visits to sit with terminally ill patients and sometimes their family. Visits may include playing cards, crafting, reading aloud, helping document the patients’ life story, transportation, or correspondence. Occasionally, the visit is to offer respite to the caregiver, which will allow them to run errands or have personal time.
Each patient is on a different journey when they enter hospice. Some can move around and converse, while others are bedbound and unable to communicate. During the pandemic in-person visits were halted and we had to come up with other ways to support our patients, which included sending cards and making phone calls.

The comfort our volunteers provide to hospice patients is an incredible gift. Families have said the volunteer brightens the patients’ day and they look forward to their weekly visits. Caregivers are so grateful for the respite and feel comfortable since they are working with Mt. Hood Hospice. It’s important for them to be able to get out and run errands or have time to do something for themselves. Volunteers have said that they do this because they want to give back and have a desire to work with hospice patients.

When you volunteer with Mt. Hood Hospice, continued education will be offered at monthly meetings. Annually, there are certifications that need to be completed online.
Training sessions are held twice a year in the Sandy area.