When you tell people you work or volunteer at a hospice, you’re bound to hear someone say, “I couldn’t do that, it’s depressing.”
Many people might not realize the purpose of hospice care is to uplift the lives of patients and families with comfort, support and joy. Volunteers often say they enjoy such fulfilling service.
Volunteers Make a Difference
“I volunteer because it’s a win-win situation. Someone benefits from what I do and I benefit from what I do…I like to think of my activities as benefiting both the patient and the family by giving them respite…You’re sitting in someone’s home. Sometimes, you’re just listening to music…sometimes, you’re just reading…but it’s comfortable, it’s nice,” shared Amy Meinstein in a recent video.
Meinstein serves as a patient and family support volunteer with Suncoast Hospice, a member of Empath Health. She provides companionship, respite, transportation and now Reiki energy work during her home visits.
She went on to say, “I can’t think of any volunteer work that I’ve done in the past, and I’ve done volunteer work all of my life, that has given me as much satisfaction.”
We Need You
Volunteers are the heart and inspiration of Suncoast Hospice, founded 40 years ago by a group of compassionate volunteers from our community. Today, we continue to treasure and rely on the support of our volunteers who help us give the highest level of care to the many patients and families who need us.
As a volunteer, you can serve patients and families in their homes, long-term care facilities or our Care Centers, provide organizational support or lots of other rewarding roles throughout Pinellas County. You can choose the role that best suits your needs and we’ll provide you free orientation and training.
Critical Volunteer Needs
• Patient and Family Support – Provide companionship and support to patients and families. Especially needed are volunteers to work with the care teams that serve patients who live in their own homes and to provide volunteer services, such as transitions companion visits that bring peace to patients in their final hours.
• Bereavement Support – Make calls to families who’ve lost loved ones. These calls provide information and a supportive presence and can be done from home.
• Office – Assist with clerical duties and greet and connect guests with the people they come to visit. Especially needed are volunteers in the care team areas and in the welcome centers at the community service centers – particularly at the St. Petersburg community service center. These volunteers are asked to serve one morning or one afternoon per week.
• Thursday Tuck-In Calls – Make calls from the care team areas during working hours on Thursdays. These calls make sure patients and families have what they need to be comfortable over the weekends. This allows our staff time to answer questions, refill prescriptions and deliver supplies prior to the weekends.
• Evening Telephone Support Calls – Make calls from home to newly-admitted patients to remind them that our staff is available around-the-clock to address any concerns; patients who are anxious and need a friendly call; or patients who live alone and need someone to check in on them. Calls also may be made to caregivers who live separately from the patients, to make sure they have the information they need to have a great care experience.
Visit EmpathHealth.org for additional volunteer opportunities.