Light Hill currently has a network of over 100 volunteers who are trained to perform hands-on care, but our regularly active volunteer base fluctuates. Volunteers are requested to serve at least two four-hour shifts each month. Each volunteer chooses his or her own work schedule from the two-month rolling calendar that is published weekly. Many enjoy pairing up with the same team member each week.
Before serving, volunteers receive seven in-depth training sessions or complete one-on-one training and shadowing, both of which include the following topics:
- Hospice — This session focuses on ways we can help someone who has a terminal illness to live as well as possible, for as long as possible. Also discussed is the Modern Hospice Movement and its founders, including Florence Wald, who became known as the mother of the American hospice movement.
- Communication — Communication skills are essential in hospice for quality care, safety, and building relationships with residents, families and other volunteers.
- Palliative Care — Palliative care training delves into the terminally ill resident’s pain and symptoms and the importance of attending to their emotional and spiritual needs.
- Family — This session spotlights the significance of family during end-of-life. Trainees explore ways to manage difficult or challenging family dynamics.
- Grief — Discussion is centered on how residents, their families and friends experience grief and bereavement during the final stages of life.
- Spirituality — Training reviews how people near end-of-life have spiritual needs as important as their physical concerns. Spiritual needs include finding meaning in one’s life and ending disagreements with others, if possible.
- Veterans — Veterans experience end-of-life differently due to their military training and life experiences. The training covers tips for caring for veterans during hospice care.