Hospice of Eastern Maine (HOEM) has scheduled its 2015 volunteer training course on six consecutive Tuesdays, Oct. 13-Nov. 17, from noon-4 p.m., at the EMMC Healthcare Mall, 885 Union St., Bangor. HOEM invites caring men and women in the greater Old Town/Orono area who feel called to help neighbors living with terminal illness to apply for a seat in this fall’s class.

HOEM volunteers are compassionate people of all ages and backgrounds who share their time and friendship with people who have a limited life expectancy. Volunteers live in a 25-mile radius of Bangor and generally provide two to four hours of support a week when assigned to a patient. HOEM volunteers serve both HOEM and Community Health and Counseling Services Hospice patients and are members of an interdisciplinary group that plans and delivers patient care.

Our comprehensive training course will help participants better understand the dynamics of end-of-life and prepare them to effectively provide companionship, emotional support, respite, and bereavement care for hospice patients and their families.

Hospice is holistic care that focuses on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their family caregivers. Trained professionals provide the physical, psych-social, and spiritual aspects of care while hospice volunteers offer companionship and comfort care, such as, attentive listening, talking, playing games, reading, writing letters, recording memoirs, preparing a meal, or driving to appointments. Volunteers are usually assigned to only one patient and family.

Hospice of Eastern Maine is the Bangor area’s oldest hospice. It has been meeting the end-of-life needs in local communities including Old Town, Alton, Bradley, Costigan, Indian Island, Milford, Orono, and Veazie since 1981. HOEM is a program of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and part of Eastern Maine HomeCare.

For more information about becoming a patient care volunteer or to learn about other volunteer opportunities with Hospice of Eastern Maine, please call Wayne Melanson, Volunteer Manager at 973-8269 or e-mailwmelanson@emhs.org. Aspiring patient care volunteers must complete an application and interview prior to Oct. 9. Class size is limited to 15.

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