Becoming a Hospice Volunteer in Montana gives people the opportunity to provide crucial help to terminally ill patients and their families during a very difficult time. Volunteering as a hospice worker can be very rewarding, but for those working directly with patients and their families it can also be emotionally trying. Training is usually provided, particularly for direct care volunteers, and this training is different depending on the person’s anticipated role in the organization.
Some volunteers help with administrative tasks. They answer phones, help with mailings, put together informational packets for patients, and perform other simple tasks around the office. These volunteers do not work directly with patients and do not require the same training as direct volunteers.
Direct volunteers perform a variety of roles depending on their specialization and comfort level. Some visit patients to provide companionship and social support. Others provide a few hours at a time of respite to the patients’ families and caregivers. In most circumstances, there is no set weekly time requirement. A volunteer is usually assigned to a family then chooses for his or herself how much time he or she can devote. In comparison, on-call volunteers are available on call to help deal with acute emergencies.
Other services volunteers provide include life reviews in which memories and reflections are recorded for the family, pet companionship, baking cakes for patients on special occasions, music outreach, veteran’s outreach, and bereavement support for those who are qualified. Those interested in becoming a Hospice Volunteer in Montana must pass a health screening, background check, and drug test. They must be capable of communicating clearly, reading and writing, and be physically capable of performing basic tasks.
This kind of volunteer work is certainly not for everybody, but those who have the emotional stamina and empathy that it requires typically find it quite rewarding. Many volunteers have dealt with grief themselves and are able to understand what the patients and their families are going through. Even those who have not can still provide valuable services and help patients and their families live each day well. Partners In Home Care is a team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers.