WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care is looking for volunteers.
WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care is offering a three-day training session, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13.
The three-day orientation will cover a variety of topics introduced by Hospice Care staff members. Training sessions will be held at WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care, 202 N. Main St. in Coupeville across the street from WhidbeyHealth Medical Center.
“More volunteer support is needed for hospice and palliative patients on the entire island,” said Hospice Care Volunteer Coordinator, Donna Selig. “Whether simply offering their quiet presence to allow the patient’s family some needed respite or engaging in a card game and hearing sometimes funny, sometimes touching life stories, the service is greatly appreciated by patients and families.”
Selig had her own experience with Hospice Care before becoming a volunteer herself. Working for more than 30 years as an RN, she witnessed the positive change such care had on patients, including her mother.
“When my mother went into Hospice Care, I could tell that she felt such peace and caring from the Hospice team. Being with her was such a sacred time; I will always carry that experience in my heart.”
Sue Sato has been a WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care volunteer for three years.
“Personally, it’s helped me to gain perspective on living and dying. Everyone approaches dying differently and through my years as a volunteer, I’ve been made aware that death is just a part of life.”
Sato said that the training is excellent and during the flexible volunteer hours there is always a huge amount of support from the professional Hospice Care team — care providers, aides, social workers, chaplains. She’s never felt overwhelmed or uncomfortable in any situation.
“We are looking for individuals with a calm disposition, who are willing to listen with compassion and who are comfortable with issues of death and dying,” Selig said.
No special skills are required. Time commitments are flexible for each individual. Volunteers need to be 18 years or older, pass a background check and screening process, and participate in the three-day training.
• If interested, call WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care at 360-914-5635.