Our volunteers are the heart of the Florida Hospital HospiceCare and Palliative Care teams. These volunteers come from all walks of life. They are former professionals, school teachers, secretaries, homemakers, business executives and accountants.
Because our volunteers spend time in patients’ and families’ homes, we implement a thorough application and interview process to assure the volunteer is right for this type of work. In addition, Florida Hospital HospiceCare has an organized training program for its patient-care volunteers that includes understanding hospice, confidentiality, working with families, listening skills, signs and symptoms of approaching death, loss and grief, and bereavement support.
All volunteers also must successfully pass a background check and have medical clearance, and pass the HospiceCare Volunteer Training Certification program.
Volunteers are priceless resources who provide patients and families a wide array of services, including:
- Respite — Volunteers run errands, stay with a patient to give family members a break, prepare light meals or help with housework.
- Support — Volunteers enhance the quality of life for patients and their families in their homes or in one of the Florida Hospital HospiceCare inpatient units. They provide companionship, a listening ear and practical assistance, as well as by sharing hobbies, reading to patients and offering emotional support.
- Vigil Presence — Volunteers help patients and family members to not feel alone on their journey. Throughout an illness, and when the patient is passing, it can be a comfort to have someone to sit in vigil quietly at the bedside, to hold a hand, or whisper words of comfort. Volunteers can help create a peaceful atmosphere for families, share stories about their loved one or help them say goodbye.
- Inpatient Unit — Volunteers offer comfort and care to patients and assistance to HospiceCare staff at the inpatient locations of the Florida Hospital HospiceCare inpatient facilities.
Friends With Flowers
With flowers donated from a local floral wholesaler and area florists, HospiceCare volunteers create small arrangements for our in-patient units, Stuart F. Meyer Hospice House and nursing home facilities. These arrangements help to brighten our patients’ rooms and their days!
Life legacies allow a patient to record their life stories to share with future generations. Life legacies is another complementary service provided HospiceCare.
Unique to Florida Hospital HospiceCare, HospoochCare and HospussCare provide patients with a visit by our Pet Partners team. This program brings volunteers and their trained therapy animals to patients to help reduce isolation, stimulate communication and improve emotional and social health.
Pet Peace of Mind
The Pet Peace of Mind program is designed to help Florida Hospital HospiceCare patients and their pets while they are receiving HospiceCare services. HospiceCare knows that pets who share our lives are family. Patients may not have an opportunity to find a friend or family member who can care for their pets when they go into a hospital or hospice unit. Pet Peace of Mind volunteers may assist with food, litter and the basic veterinary care that patients desperately need for their pets. This may include:
- Basic in-home care.
- Dog walking.
- Pet waste clean-up.
- Flea/tick treatment delivery.
- Transportation to veterinary care or groomers.
- Financial assistance with routine care.