The free program trains volunteers to support someone terminally ill and their family.

LEWISTON – A hospice volunteer training program will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, 15 Strawberry Ave. The eight-week course is free for those interested in becoming volunteers.

The program covers the needs of terminally ill patients and their families, the hospice philosophy, communications and listening skills, the impact of illness on the family, spiritual aspects of dying, grief and bereavement, funeral arrangements and related topics.

Hospice volunteers provide support to someone who is terminally ill and his/her family. Some patients live at home; others live in long-term care facilities. Volunteers are matched with people who live in or near their local communities.

They visit patients regularly, sometimes staying a few hours so that the person’s caregiver can take a break. In addition to visiting, volunteers may also do errands, if requested, or meet other appropriate needs. They do not provide hands-on care.

Characteristics of a successful volunteer include being nonjudgmental and dependable, a good listener, flexible, respectful of confidentiality and able to provide their own transportation.

Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice is a nonprofit, Medicare-certified agency that provides skilled home care, supportive care and hospice care for residents of Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford and northern Cumberland counties. The agency provides a full spectrum of services.

In addition to meeting state home care, hospice and mental health licensing standards and Medicare certification, the agency is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. More information can be found on the Web at

For more information on becoming a hospice volunteer, call Nancy Greene, AHCH volunteer coordinator, at 777-7740 or 1-800-482-7412.

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