A serious illness in the family can make it hard to do everyday chores, especially as the illness gets worse. "If only I had another pair of hands!" "I can't be in two places at once! How am I going to run all my errands and be with my loved one, too?"
How Volunteers Can Help
While in your home, a volunteer could help in some of these ways:
- Stay with the patient when you are away.
- Transport the patient.
- Converse and reminisce with the patient and family.
- Prepare a light meal and feed the patient.
- Assist an ambulatory patient to the bathroom or bedside commode.
- Turn and reposition a bedfast patient if desired.
- Read aloud anything the patient wishes to hear.
- Write letters as the patient dictates.
- Simply "be there" to respond to the patient's requests.
- Run errands, such as grocery shopping.
Volunteers cannot open a patient's medicine bottle. Family members should prepare the medicine before leaving. The patient must take the medicine him or herself. The volunteer can remind the patient that it is time to take medicine.
Whether a volunteer is allowed to transfer (move) a patient from bed to chair or any place else is decided on a case-by-case basis. If a patient is able to walk, even with help, a volunteer can certainly help. When a patient is bedfast, a volunteer is not allowed to move a patient to a chair.
Patients have different abilities. If there is any question about whether a volunteer should help a patient move about in the home, the Hospice of Salina nurse may assess and provide instruction to the volunteer.
Feeding a Patient
A patient who has problems with eating and swallowing may be helped by a volunteer after special instructions on safe feeding have been given.
Volunteers specially trained to provide transportation and meeting established standards are allowed to drive a patient. A volunteer cannot transport a patient who cannot walk or is unable to bear weight when moving.
Hospice of Salina, Inc. offers a variety of volunteer opportunities including:
- Direct patient care.
- Bereavement support for families.
- Administrative support.
- Special events.
- Fund raising.
Direct patient care may include: being a companion to a patient; relieving a caregiving family member, running errands; and light housework. Patient care training is provided. Patient care time is scheduled between the volunteer and the patient/family. Volunteers also provide patient care services within the Kaye Pogue Hospice Center's inpatient facility.
Administrative support roles may involve: helping with bulk mailings; assembling packets and materials; filing; answering the phone; copying; and computer data entry.
Bereavement roles may include: calling or visiting recently bereaved family members; assistance for "Griefbusters" children's support group or "Inner Peace" adult support group; delivering a red rose to the funeral home prior to the funeral service for the "Rose Program"; attending Bereavement Team meetings with Hospice of Salina staff to review a family's progress through grief.
Special event and fundraising roles may include: hosting a booth at trade shows and local/regional health fairs; serving as a host for various functions; serving as a host for local or statewide conferences held in Salina; planning and assisting with fundraising events such as the Fall Sale and the Memory Tree; acknowledging memorial and other donations.
Volunteer Inservice is provided in addition to training for each role. Ongoing education and support is available for volunteers through monthly inservice meetings, support groups, annual recognition, library resources and individual counseling as needed or desired.
Interested persons are asked to call Hospice of Salina, Inc. at (785) 825-1717 and ask for the Volunteer Coordinator.
Schedule a Volunteer
Call the Hospice of Salina office at (785) 825-1717 on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to schedule volunteer assistance.
Let us know what kind of help you need and when you need it. Please call at least 48 hours before the time a volunteer is needed. The average volunteer visit is 1-3 hours with a limit of 4 hours allowed for a visit. Frequency of visits and the amount of time a volunteer spends with the patient and family depends on their needs and the volunteer's schedule. Multiple volunteers may be assigned in order to meet specific needs.
All of our volunteers are screened, interviewed and trained for their tasks. Volunteers know how to contact a Hospice of Salina nurse if anything unexpected happens.
We want to serve you well. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Caron Kipp, with ideas to make our volunteer service better.