Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: If you’ve ever interacted with Hospice, you know that it takes a strong and special person to be part of a team that gives help and care in the toughest of times. Are you one of those people?

Amava Take: Hospice organizations throughout the country do essential work for ailing people and their families when they need it most. Being part of the effort to give someone care in the place they think of as home is enormously fulfilling, and there are many ways to help. Volunteers support patients and families, provide childcare and pet care, pick up medications and much more. There are also often needs for leaders and helpers for bereavement programs, administrative and fundraising support as well. If you believe in the mission, there is probably a place for your talents and experience.

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

People with perspective and compassion.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Don’t assume that people in these situations aren’t interested in laughing. They often need to do that.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Completely dependent upon client and organization needs and your availability.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Helping people feel peaceful, calm and cared for when they need it most.

How would you describe the hard parts?

Grief is always hard to look at up close.

What do you learn from doing this work?

What is really important. Over and over again.

Special Requirements: Generally, the preference is for adult volunteers. Beyond that, bring your desire to do some good and sense of compassion.

Finding a Position: The Hospice Foundation of America has a Hospice Directory that you can use to find an organization near you and investigate what kinds of volunteers they need. VITAS Healthcare also seeks hospice volunteers in many locations throughout the country, as does Crossroads and many large hospitals. To learn more about what it’s like to be a hospice volunteer, see this article and video in the Atlantic Monthly and this broadcast and story on NPR.