Why are Volunteers Needed in Hospice?

■ 90% of Canadians wish to remain in their own homes during the final stages of life but 94% of caregivers say they cannot cope without help - the kind of help that hospice volunteers provide.
■ 75% of deaths today still take place in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
■ 5%-15% of Canadians have access to hospice palliative care services.
■ 6% of informal caregivers feel they can adequately care for their loved ones without hospice palliative care support.
■ 70% of informal caregivers acknowledge that providing care is stressful and indicate they need a break from this responsibility (Hospice Association of Ontario, 2004).

Each week, your gift of time will help nourish and sustain the quality of life for someone living with a terminal illness.

Who are Hospice Volunteers?

They are people just like you! Hospice volunteers, like our clients, come from all walks of life. Our volunteers vary in age, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation, and a professional backgrounds. Some volunteers do the work because they want to do something outside of work. Some have experienced the loss of a loved one and the experience changed their lives. Some just like to help people. Our volunteers are students, lawyers, accountants, electricians, marketers, sales people, human resource people, homemakers, teachers, and retired people. Many volunteers state that their life is rich and fulfilled and they want to "give back" to their community.

Benefits of Volunteering

You get to meet many different types of people and form solid relationships based on mutual respect, understanding, and caring.

As a hospice volunteer you will:
■ Make a difference in people's lives
■ Develop a wide network
■ Develop a range of skills and experience that can be used in eveyday life
■ Receive ongoing education and development
■ Do your part in bringing about social change

Volunteer Roles can be transformative and life-affirming, and include:

• Support for clients and their family members
• Vigil services (when death is imminent)
• Bereavement support
• Program assistance or facilitator
• Program practitioner
• Fundraising and events
• Office administration
• Community outreach
• Board of Director Member

Hospices help extremely vulnerable people through a difficult and often frightening time. Whether you've had a family
connection to hospice care and want to give back, or are interested in learning more about how to support and comfort those in their final days, we encourage you to explore this truly fulfilling volunteer opportunity.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.


-- Emily Dickinson, "Complete Poems"