FRANKLIN — Franklin VNA & Hospice is hosting volunteer training this spring, starting, March 20, and running Wednesdays through April 24, from 2-4 p.m. The six-week session is designed to teach volunteers the skills they need to be successful. The training covers how to be present for someone who needs company, how volunteer time allows caregivers to take a walk or attend their own medical appointments, and the importance of reminiscing in helping hospice patients find closure.
Many people worry that being a hospice volunteer will be scary or uncomfortable, but volunteers in training will get the chance to dispel those fears by meeting with Peabody home residents and gaining the comfort they need. Tobias Nyatsambo, Franklin VNA & Hospice chaplain and volunteer coordinator, said, “The truth is, that while we do have those volunteers dedicated to never letting anyone die alone, who want to be called in to sit with someone in the final stages of life if the patient’s loved ones cannot be present, the majority of our hospice volunteers are providing much needed companionship and acting as listeners. We would never want to push a volunteer beyond their comfort zone. The volunteers we have tell me they find the companionship that they give the patients playing games, looking through scrapbooks or playing music to them a truly rewarding experience for both the patient and the volunteer.”
Volunteers with the ability to play an instrument or provide registered pet therapy are two very sought-after qualifications, but everyday skills such as playing cards, the ability to hold a conversation, or simply to listen well are also valuable.
Volunteers are matched to patients with similar interests, and there's always an opportunity take a break if perhaps the match wasn't well made.
“We are proud to partner with Peabody home for our volunteer training,” said Nyatsambo. “The opportunity for our volunteers to meet with their residents as an introduction to being with the elderly is both instructive for them and very meaningful for the residents at Peabody home.”
To make a difference in someone's life, hospice volunteering provides a local opportunity. To register for the training program, contact April at 603-934-3454.
For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at 603-934-3454, or visit www.FranklinVNA.org.