Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy


The hospice volunteer may provide a wide range of services. In all cases, the volunteer must be "oriented" and trained as a hospice volunteer in order to be approved to come out to the patient's home location and assist. Depending on the hospice agency which your loved one is enrolled in, there may be volunteer nurses, doctors, social workers, therapists and other volunteers. In the case of some un-certified/unlicensed hospices, the entire hospice team may be made up of volunteers. The hospice industry started out as a mostly volunteer hospice service. However, today most hospices are licensed and certified and the hospice team members are paid professionals. The volunteer services of a hospice are actually required by the Medicare federal standards of care.

Volunteers may sit with your loved one while you go out. They may go shopping for you, run errands, listen and help. They can help prepare meals, read for your loved one and do many other tasks to help out. Volunteers are a very important part of the hospice team. Sometimes it is the help that volunteers provide that can help make it possible for your loved one to remain at home till the very end.

There are even all volunteer hospices that do not charge for their services at all. These volunteer hospices continue the tradition of the original hospices which were started in the 1960s and 1970s. Although most of the original volunteer hospices were absorbed by nonprofit hospices or chose to become nonprofit hospices, some remained all volunteer. Hospice Patients Alliance remains in touch with some of these all volunteer organizations. We have great admiration for the wonderful dedication and selflessness of these all volunteer organizations!

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