It is so rewarding to be a hospice volunteer. Being both a volunteer for hospice, and a recipient of volunteers that have helped members of my own family I would like to share a little about it.

A Hospice volunteer is giving one hour or more, once or as many times a week, that work in your schedule.  It could be just sitting with a patient while they sleep and their caregiver can run an errand, or taking a patient for a walk outside, spending time with them talking about their  favorite subject, sports, tv, news, playing cards, reading the newspaper, reading jokes, or reading the Bible, whatever interests them. You are that one hour that they look forward to that week, the hours that they are not thinking about how sick they are.

In most cases with a  hospice patient, the caregiver is more exhausted and drained than the patient, many are not getting the proper sleep at night, caring for their loved one takes up their whole day, leaving no time for themselves. Many are afraid to leave the patient, and some cannot leave, in turn, they forget to care for themselves. . . a volunteer spending an hour or two with their loved one is such a relief for them, they can go to the grocery store, get their hair done, go to their own doctors appointment, or just go visit with a friend for that mental break that they so desperately need. Some caregivers just need someone to pick up the groceries once a week.

The hospice agency does offer training, and if you can get past the thought of hospice meaning dying, some patients can be on hospice for years it is not just for those on their death bed, every case is different, and for those that are dying, how fortunate to make someone smile, laugh, to play their favorite music, or just be there to hold a hand of someone who is in need.  I understand it may not be for everyone, but anyone who may be thinking of volunteering some of their time, you need to do it now, just call a local hospice agency in your area, you will be glad you did.

 "Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."  Matthew 25:30