Volunteering for Hospice
Northern Arizona Hospice announces its winter training program
The 20-hour program is taught over the course of five days with four-hour sessions taking place Jan. 11, 12, 13, 14 and 17. Learn more.
Volunteering at Northern Arizona Hospice
“It’s one of the most important things I have done in my life.”
Dave Hill was just 10 years old when he almost died. But the experience gave him an understanding of pain and struggle and deep compassion for others.
“I contracted the German measles, which progressed to encephalitis,” Dave said. “I went into a coma and my parents were told I may not live. When I did awaken, I was paralyzed from the waist down. For months, I struggled to learn to walk again. My struggles gave me compassion for others.”
Dave and his wife Terri moved to the Verde Valley in 1982. After retiring in 1998, Dave was looking for meaningful ways to spend his time. “It was during this time that my mother-in-law needed hospice care and we chose Northern Arizona Hospice. The care the nurses and volunteers gave to our mom, made me want to help others near the end of their lives.”
Dave took the Northern Arizona Hospice volunteer training class. “I realized this is what I am supposed to be doing at this time in my life.”
That was 14 years ago and since then Dave has volunteered more than 4,500 hours as a hospice volunteer.
He has spent days and nights listening to patients’ stories and family memories and sharing some of his own. Sometimes he and his dog, Murphy, are just there to be a comforting presence to those who need it.
“Each time I am with a hospice patient, I am reminded about the things that are really important – family, friends, love and time. As a hospice volunteer you do get paid: a handshake, a thank you, a smile, maybe a hug. That’s something you can’t put a price tag on.”
Things a Family Support Volunteer Might Do
- Maintain regular contact with the patient and family through visits and by telephone.
- Provide emotional support by actively listening.
- Run errands.
- Provide respite care for the patient at home during brief absences of the caregiver.
- Assist with light homemaking chores as needed and when requested.
- Provide temporary babysitting for the family’s children.
- Provide information on community resources with the social worker and/or nurse to determine what is appropriate.
- Assist in problem-solving by listening, reflecting, summarizing, but not by giving advice.
- Assist the family in bereavement.
Volunteer Pre-training Interview
Fill out the above form(s) and E-mail to: MAGGARD@nahealth.com
Or mail to: Northern Arizona Hospice
Attention: Marguerite Lauri
269 S. Candy Lane
Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Volunteer assistance will vary depending on the needs of the patient and family and the availability of the assigned volunteer. Arrangements are made directly between the family and volunteer rather than through the office. If there are problems or needs that cannot be met by the volunteer, the Volunteer Coordinator should be contacted at the Hospice office.