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

The next training will begin Tuesday, April 10. 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 agency’s Oxford office, 127 Pottle Road.

Participants will discover the world of hospice through discussion, guest speakers and skill-strengthening activities. The will course 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. A volunteer may start visiting a patient in their home and continue to visit with the patient if they move to the hospice house or a long-term care facility. Volunteers can build wonderful relationships very quickly with patients and their families. That relationship can continue wherever the patient may be.”

When 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.

Greene said hospice volunteers are needed throughout Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford and northern Cumberland counties. In addition to the class in Oxford, classes are planned for the Lewiston area late spring.

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 with AHCH. All prospective volunteers are interviewed before acceptance into the program.

For more information, call and ask for volunteer services at 1-800-482-7412 or 777-7740. For more information on AHCH, visit www.AHCH.org.


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