LEWISTON – Beacon Hospice and Palliative Care of Lewiston recently graduated two volunteer classes, one from Clover Health Care and another from the Lewiston Adult Education program.

“The class held at Clover was unique as it was the first group of volunteers to be trained in one of our contracted facilities and all the participants were Clover employees who were interested in learning how to better comfort their own patients as well as becoming hospice volunteers,” said Donna Rousseau, Beacon’s volunteer coordinator.

Beacon Hospice introduced hospice volunteer training to the Adult Education program sin Lewiston and Auburn this year and recently graduated the first group of volunteers through Lewiston High School.

“The adult education programs in Lewiston and Auburn offer a wonderful range of programs to the community and attract adult learners who are excited and enthusiastic in their search for knowledge,” said Rousseau. “Beacon was pleased to have the opportunity to offer the hospice volunteer training in the adult education setting and we have already made plans to provide training through Auburn Adult Education in the fall, with a return to Lewiston Adult Education in the spring of 2005.”

Beacon Hospice offers a comprehensive, seven-session volunteer training program that incorporates guest speakers, role-playing, group activities, reading and videos to educate and prepare volunteers for the hospice experience.

Beacon Hospice team members from each discipline guide volunteers through the training, exploring a wide range of topics including hospice philosophy, pain recognition and management, spirituality, bereavement, communication, family dynamics and volunteer responsibilities and wellness.

Following graduation from the program, volunteers continue to receive ongoing support as members of the Beacon team through in-services, special programs and regular communication with Beacon staff.

Beacon Hospice is accepting applications for the next volunteer training to begin Tuesday, Aug. 24, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lewiston office. In addition, Beacon hospice volunteer training will begin at Auburn Adult Education through Edward Little High School on Thursday, Sept. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m.

For additional information on either training or for more information about Beacon Hospice and how to coordinate a volunteer training program at a facility or business, contact Rousseau at 784-4242.

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