828.754.0101         1.844.MY.JOURNEY

Make a World of Difference.
Become a Caldwell Hospice Volunteer in the High Country.

Adult Volunteer Training
February 18 & 20, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center
232 Boone Heights Drive, Boone, NC

Attendance is required both days.

For more information or to register, contact Martha Livingston, Director of Support Services, at 828.754.0101 or 1.844.MY.JOURNEY, or at mlivingston@caldwellhospice.org.

Volunteer Services

Volunteers are vital to our organization. They come to us from diverse backgrounds and fill a variety of needs. Some work directly with patients; others perform a multitude of other tasks to support our organization. Each one is unique, but they all have one thing in common—a desire to make a difference. If you want to give back, to make a difference, you've come to the right place.

To learn more, download our High Country Volunteer brochure.

11th Hour Volunteers

These volunteers receive additional training and can be called upon to spend time with patients and families during what will be, most likely, a patient's final 24 to 48 hours.

Bereavement Volunteers

Bereavement volunteers may assist in providing emotional support and compassionate understanding through personal visits, telephone calls, and/or written contact. They may be asked to contact bereaved family members on the occasion of special anniversary dates through a personal visit, telephone call, or written correspondence.

Legacy Volunteers

Legacy Volunteers record hospice patients' stories of their lives. As patients decide what parts of their lives they want to share, we suggest topics—perhaps they want to talk about favorite childhood memories, military experiences, their first job, faraway places they have visited, or special thoughts about life, and so forth. Once they decide they're ready to tell their stories, we set up a series of interview dates to videotape them. We then edit the tapes and present DVD copies to the patients and their family members.

Patient/Family Volunteers

Patient/family volunteers assist in providing emotional support and compassionate understanding to the patient and family in a home care or in-patient setting, providing assistance when and where it is needed to improve the quality of the patient's remaining life. Volunteers may be asked to help with transportation, reading, letter-writing, caregiver relief, etc. The volunteer coordinator carefully matches patients with volunteers.

Veterans Honoring Veterans

Veterans Honoring Veterans allows military veteran volunteers to honor veteran patients. Our veteran volunteers visit veteran patients to present them with a small American flag, a certificate of appreciation, and a lapel pin as a way to honor their military service. Veteran patients may also choose to be videotaped sharing their military experiences or life stories.

Vigil Music

Vigil Music Volunteers are specially trained to sing or play recorded music very, very softly to patients in their final hours. The volunteers offer support to the patients and respect for the sanctity of this hallowed time. Music may be performed live by no more than three volunteers or the volunteers may play music recorded specially for a patient's final hours.

Volunteer Chaplains

Volunteer chaplains visit with patients, as requested, to provide spiritual support.

Volunteer Hairstylists

Volunteer hairstylists provide free haircuts to hospice patients in their homes. Licensed hairstylists serve as "special volunteers."

Making a Difference, One Visit at a Time

"I need a haircut," he said and rummaged around for his clippers. "You ever used these?"

She acknowledged that she had, so he handed the clippers to her, and when she finished, he said, "You didn't do too bad a job."

Well, that's one thing she hadn't planned on, but it turned out well, and it illustrates one of Caldwell Hospice Volunteer Reba Barlow's Things to Expect When You're a Hospice Volunteer: "You never know what you're going to find."

Reba visited this patient and his family regularly. "He was so easy to know," she says. He had a garden for years and used to sell vegetables from a truck on the side of the road. When he had to give it up, he was sad. This made Reba think about the things we have to give up when we're sick. It also explains one of the reasons she volunteers: "If you're troubled and have somebody to talk to, it gives you an outlet."

In 20 years as a Caldwell Hospice volunteer, Reba has served in many ways—the volunteer coordinator is good about matching people and their talents with the assignments Caldwell Hospice needs to fill, she says. For Reba, the two best kinds of assignments involve patients and their families or helping with yard work: "I get dirty when I'm spreading mulch or planting flowers. I'm not prissy about it."

People sometimes deny themselves the opportunity to volunteer with hospice patients, concerned that they aren't "right" for the task—they won't know what to say; they'll do something wrong; they'll be too uncomfortable to help.

During volunteer training, Caldwell Hospice staff members explain about the progression of diseases, about patients' needs, about entering a house as a stranger and leaving as a friend, about answering patients' and families' questions, and about finding information for them when needed, about "being there" and listening.

"All the training is something I can take and use," Reba says, "one patient at a time, one family at a time." With one patient in a long-term-care facility, there had been little interaction. One day Reba noticed and made mention of a knick-knack related to the University of North Carolina. By way of replying, the woman sang the Carolina "fight song," and from then on, they visited personally and meaningfully.

Some hospice patients don't have family close by, Reba points out. Sometimes, caregivers need someone to talk to or someone to give them a break. She remembers sitting with a patient so his wife could go to the grocery store. "You come away like you've been served," Reba says. "What did I do? I just sat there and listened."

If you would like to share your time with Caldwell Hospice patients and their families, learn more about attending the next adult volunteer training—you'd be more than welcome! It is scheduled for February 18 and 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center, 232 Boone Heights Drive, Boone, NC. Attendance is required both days, and lunch will be served. For more information or to register, please call Director of Support Services Martha Livingston at 828.754.0101 or 1.844.MY.JOURNEY.

Caldwell Hospice Volunteer Reba Barlow has been visiting with hospice patients and their families for 20 years—and every experience is unique.