Transitions Volunteer Programs
With a strong commitment to volunteerism and community service, Transitions Hospice relies on support from volunteers who want to share their time and talents to help provide the highest quality of care to our patients. Volunteers are a vital part of the patient care team. They visit with patients, assist their families and help with projects at our administrative offices. The comfort that a volunteer can bring to the patient and family is like no other. Volunteer visits offer patients companionship, boost their self-esteem and decrease loneliness. Opportunities are available in our hospice volunteer program in Illinois, at our branch offices located in Huntley, Naperville, Champaign, Rockford and Peoria, and in the Indianapolis and Northwest Indiana (Crown Point) areas we also serve.
Companionship Volunteers visit bedsides to offer comfort, compassion and understanding to hospice patients. Volunteers usually have 1-3 patients at the same location depending on the volunteer’s availability and the needs of the patients. Most visits last about an hour.
Each patient is unique and has different interests. Some common activities include:
- Reading or watching TV together
- Listening to music together
- Singing classic songs or hymns
- Sharing stories
- Going for a stroll outside
- Play games and puzzles
Sometimes the patient’s family needs additional support beyond patient care. Often, the caregiver is putting all of their time and energy into assisting their loved one and they don’t take time for themselves. The Family Support Volunteer can offer the caregiver a much needed break and help them out with things they may not have had time for because of their commitment to their loved one undergoing hospice.
Some common ways volunteers support our families include:
- Run errands
- Light yard work
- Light household chores
- Prepare meals for the patient & family
Transitions Hospice believes that no one should die alone. When our staff anticipates a patient is transitioning, they volunteer to sit bedside around the clock to support the patient and their family at the time of death in conjunction with the rest of our care team.
Our Vigil Volunteers are an integral part of that team! They will be notified when a patient in their area is actively dying and will be asked if they are available to volunteer for a 2 or 4 hour shift to keep the patient company in their final hours. Due to the importance of this commitment, it is essential that Vigil Volunteers are reliable and understand the dying process.
Most Vigil Volunteers begin as Companionship Volunteers. Companion volunteers can elect to become a Vigil Volunteer after three months of service and additional training.
Office support is always needed! Volunteers can support our Illinois offices in Huntley, Naperville, Champaign, Peoria, Rockford, or our Indiana offices in Crown Point and Indianapolis. If you like to file and organize, and would be interested in learning about the business side of hospice – we would love your help!
- Filing patient records
- Building patient binders
- Compiling admission packets
- Building training manuals
- Copying and organizing
Internships are also available year-round to students seeking experience in healthcare, public relations and finance. Click here for more information about internships.
Assisted Animal Volunteers
Volunteer with your registered therapy animal! Animal Assisted Volunteers make loving companions for our hospice patients.
Animal Assisted Volunteers provide companionship and therapeutic support to patients who love animals. Animals must always be accompanied by their human handler and will only visit those patients who have agreed to animal-assisted volunteer visits.
Before bringing a pet to visit a hospice patient, handlers must first complete the volunteer application and training program to become a Companion Volunteer. After that, they may apply to begin bringing their pet as a part of their volunteerism. All animal/handler teams must have documentation of registration with a recognized pet therapy organization, liability insurance and all appropriate vaccines. In order to make visits, animals must be in good health and well-groomed.