Critical hospice volunteers needed for local patients

COUNTY — Community volunteers are needed to provide in-home companionship and respite care to hospice patients in San Luis Obispo County and the Santa Maria Valley, according to Central Coast Hospice.

Central Coast Hospice has been providing medical and social services to those with a terminal diagnosis in all of San Luis Obispo County for over seven years. Volunteers are an important part of the program. They provide supervision to patients while their family caregivers take a break or run errands, assist with light household tasks, provide emotional support and socialization, and help with miscellaneous, yet important tasks — like organizing family photos or helping the patient write letters to their loved ones.

No prior experience is necessary. Potential volunteers just have to have an interest in helping others, a caring nature, and able to participate in a training program prior to beginning their volunteer experience. Current and past volunteers have said that they received way more from volunteering than they feel like they gave — they have learned more about themselves, their own families, and their own feelings about death as well as the beauty of life, in the process.

Central Coast Hospice will soon be offering volunteer training and is hoping to recruit potential volunteers. The training will be held three consecutive Fridays: Feb. 8, 15 and 22,  from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no charge for the class and hospice will provide snacks and lunch as well as a binder of training materials. Pre-registration and interview are required.

This training will be held in San Luis Obispo, but there are other training options including an upcoming Paso Robles training. Call or e-mail for more information or to apply for the program.

The training will include such topics as the history of hospice, its philosophy and mission, how hospice addresses the needs of the patient and family, the role of various hospice clinician team members, family dynamics and communication skills, dementia, grief and loss, and the role of the volunteer. Multiple presenters, videos, and examples will be given to convey the material.

To register for the training, contact Central Coast Hospice at 805-540-6020 and ask to speak with the Volunteer Coordinator or e-mail [email protected]


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