They are very caring, concerned and sympathetic people from your community who want to help others who are going through a difficult time.
They range in age from young adult to senior citizens. Some of them work full-time, some work only at their homes, some work part-time, some are retired.
In order to become a certified Hospice Volunteer it is necessary to attend a special training program. During this training the volunteers learn about the special needs of individuals dealing with a terminal illness. All volunteers are thoroughly screened.
Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County Inc. adheres to a strict confidentiality policy. We do not share any information about the client, their family, or medical condition without a signed release giving permission. The only exception to this confidentiality policy would be if we feel the client is being abused or neglected, if we feel the client is going to hurt him/herself, or if we know of or witness a crime. In these instances HVOSC is bound by law to report details to the authorities.
What can they do
Visit on a regular basis. Frequency and duration of visits are mutually determined by client, family, volunteer, and in some cases, the nurse or doctor.
Volunteers are able to stay with their client while family members go shopping, to church, run errands, or just get out for a while to relax.
Some people might like to have the volunteer shop for them. For instance, shopping for food or household necessities.
Volunteers are good listeners and are very supportive. They can also help with writing letters or recording life stories.
What can they NOT do
Our Hospice Volunteers education process DOES NOT include training to provide medical or nursing care.
Our Hospice Volunteers are not permitted to give medicines, change bandages, give baths, or do any treatments.
Our Hospice Volunteers are required to wear gloves in accordance with Universal Precautions when tending to any client in any and all circumstances where there is possible contact with infection or bodily fluids. They are not permitted to make exceptions to this rule.
What do our volunteers need from the client
Acceptance by the client and family members.
Notification if a scheduled visit is not convenient.
A list of contact telephone numbers and a planned agenda in the event of an emergency while the family is away.
Any information regarding changes in the client’s condition.
HVOSC is also committed to helping people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Bereavement support is provided to families served by our program and to the community. One-on-one contact, and support groups are offered.
All services are offered free of charge.