Hospice volunteer training

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PARIS – Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice is seeking individuals who are interested in becoming hospice volunteers in the Oxford Hills and Bridgton areas. Volunteers are critical members of the hospice team, offering support for patients at the end of life and their families.

The training is being offered in collaboration with the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris. Those who wish to become hospice volunteers will participate in the class along with a group of volunteers from the Maine Veterans’ Home.

The class will begin Tuesday, May 23. The 27-hour training will be held over a five-week period from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Maine Veterans’ Home, 477 High St.

Participants will discover the world of hospice through discussion, guest speakers and skill-strengthening activities. The course will explore a range of topics, including hospice philosophy, pain management, communication, spirituality, grief and bereavement and the role of hospice volunteers.

Nancy Greene, Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice volunteer supervisor, said, “The AHCH hospice program cares for patients in their homes, as well as long-term care facilities, and at the new hospice house in Auburn.”

Hospice volunteers are matched with patients in or near their communities. They visit regularly and may stay with the patient for several hours while a caregiver gets time away from the home. They may also do errands if requested, or meet other special needs. “Sometimes the need is for someone to just be present, to sit quietly, and simply be’ with the patient,” said Greene.

To be a hospice volunteer, a person needs to be nonjudgmental, warm, compassionate and a good listener.

A volunteer must also respect confidentiality and be able to provide his/her own transportation.

Participants are asked to make a commitment of volunteering two to four hours a week for a year. All prospective volunteers will be interviewed before acceptance. For more information, call and ask for volunteer services at 1-800-482-7412 or 777-7740. For more information on the agency, visit www.AHCH.org.

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