Direct Care Volunteers: In the Service of Others
They sing to terminally ill patients. They provide gentle massage. They visit patients accompanied by some of the most charming and patient dogs you’ve ever met. They play cards, help organize scrapbooks, run errands, provide breaks for caregivers, or simply offer the gift of companionship to those who sometimes feel so alone. They provide a vigil presence during a patient’s last hours with a warm touch and a gentle voice. They give in such meaningful ways. They are Direct Care Volunteers.
In 1975, when hospice was in its infancy, Hospice by the Bay began as Hospice of Marin®. It was an all-volunteer organization, dedicated to bringing compassionate care and dignity to those facing terminal illness. As the agency evolved from those early days into a professional organization, the need for volunteers to be part of our patient care team has never gone away.
Today, Hospice by the Bay has more than 200 Direct Care Volunteers who work one-on-one with patients. They are carefully screened and undergo thorough orientation and training for their role in hospice care. Many also bring specialized training of their own to help lift the burden on caregivers and provide those little “extras,” such as musical talent or massage skills, that can make a difficult time that much more tolerable, even joyful at times.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, ”The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” If that resonates with you, please watch our YouTube video, “Hospice by the Bay Volunteers.” Then consider whether becoming a Hospice by the Bay Volunteer might be the best way to “find yourself” and help others.