Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care - Volunteers, 09 Nov 2021 2:13:23 -0700en-us<![CDATA[Touch Base Newsletters]]>, 04 Aug 2021 11:38:09 -0700MVHPC Touch Base newsletter keeps volunteers up to date and well informed.  The newsletter highlights MVHPC events, communitity education sessions, statistics and program updates, volunteer training information and much more.

JUNE, 2021 Touch Base Newsletter        Click here to download menu PDF

Details of our upcoming Annual Memorial Butterfly Release Event

Things to remember when supporting a grieving person

APRIL, 2021 Touch Base Newsletter        Click here to download menu PDF

Thank you from Karen

Hello from Dylaina

Notice from Lisa about volunteer COVID vaccinations

FEBRUARY, 2021 Touch Base Newsletter        Click here to download menu PDF

"Looking back and looking ahead."

MV Hospice volunteers remember and share their experiences.

<![CDATA[Volunteer Stories]]>, 17 Feb 2021 12:12:12 -0700___________________________________________________________________________________________

"She lifted my hand and kissed it."

What a wonderful feeling of gratitude I experienced while visiting a lady in the hospital!  She appeared unresponsive.  Knowing she was nearing the end of life I held her hand and told her I’d pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. (a prayer said nearing the end of life) As I began praying she lifted my hand and kissed it. With tears in my eyes I continued.  This has been an unforgettable  experience.  I say thank you every day for the awe-inspiring experiences hospice volunteering has given me.     Shirley Etmanskie


"We walk each other home."

I should be old enough by now to know that things often don’t work out the way I imagine.  Most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised that they don’t.  When I took my volunteer training in November 2019 with Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care, I had no intention of becoming a volunteer at the hospice.  I thought it would be very interesting and I could use what I learned when I do become a volunteer for a long term care home.  I was imagining myself volunteering for the home where my father and mother-in-law resided for more than two years, helping feed, keep company with, and wheel around in the garden the many clients who reside there.  But no, not volunteering at the hospice.

     I know the main reason I did not want to volunteer at the hospice was because I was afraid.  Will I know what to do when someone dies? Will I know how to answer questions from a family member? How comfortable will I be with being present with people facing their death or the death of a family member.

     Still, I decided to join the Therapeutic Touch Team and was ready to volunteer in people’s homes.  When Covid came all of my imagining fell through and I found myself trying a shift in the hospice apartment instead. To my surprise and delight, I realized that I loved it.  It felt so easy being there for other people.  I felt comfortable assisting in providing physical care for the clients. There was nothing special to say, except answer to the needs of the moment.  I enjoyed being able to contribute, if only a presence to the amazing transition that death represents for individuals and their families.  I quickly came to understand that one of the rewards, beside supporting people, was the peace and joy I feel when all other preoccupations fall away and I am left with the essential: the moment.

     But the rewards do not end there.  I find myself being part of a greater whole comprised of staff and other volunteers working towards a common goal, learning to be of service in our communities.  I had missed that feeling since being retired without even being aware of the loss.  As expressed by Ram Dass, “ we walk each other home “ in the so many ways that are necessary for our individual and collective well being.  I might still end up wheeling people around in the garden of a long term care home but meanwhile, may I continue being surprised by the gifts we give each other as clients, volunteers and staff of MVHPC.          Diane Veilleux


"She was beautiful."

Sitting at the bedside of an elderly lady a few days before her death, I became part of her life for a very short time. During these few hours I cared for her by holding her hand, combing her hair ,arranging her blankets, offered her ice chips and moistened her lips. As I held her hand and watched her sleep it reminded me of how I used to love being with my babies as they slept. She was beautiful. Did my small contribution make a difference in her life. I believe it did.

                                           Anne-Marie Moore


Dorothy Hannah
MV Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer

<![CDATA[Training and Education]]>, 17 Dec 2020 10:32:32 -0700

All volunteers who provide direct patient and family assistance are required to take a 30-hour Palliative Care Training course. The sessions are offered over 4 days, in the fall as needed. Volunteers must also submit a Vulnerable Sector Screening Check, Registration Form and 2 personal references.

For more information on becoming a volunteer call 613-756-3045 ext.  350
Click here to fill out a Volunteer Registration Form

2020 In-class volunteer training postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

We offer on-line training as an option for new volunteer applicants to complete the required training at home.  Contact our office for details.

In-Class Training Topics include:

  1. Introduction to Hospice Palliative Care & The History of Hospice Palliative Care
  • History of Hospice Palliative Care
  1. The Art and Skill of Sensitive Communication, Emotional and Psychological Issues of Dying and Death, & Recognizing Signs of Imminent Death and Providing Care
  • Personal Death Experiences & Ideas about Death and Dying
  • Understanding Palliative Care
  • The Process of Dying- Mind/Body/Spirit
  1. Infection Control & Safety
  • Safety and Infection Control
  • Proper Hand Hygiene Techniques
  • Is it a Cold or Influenza?
  1. Grief & Bereavement
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Finding The Right Words
  1. Advance Care Planning
  • How Do I Do Advance Care Planning?
  1. Illness Specific Information, Pain and Symptom Management, Practical Comfort Measures, & The Challenges of Eating
  • Pain and Symptom Management
  • Pain Medication

7.  Facility Orientation, LTC and Hospital

Volunteer Touch Base Sessions (on hold due to Covid 19 precautions)

"Touch Base" meetings are held for volunteers to gather socially, remember those we have served, ask questions, address concerns and receive additional education and support.  The meetings keep volunteers well informed with what is happening within the Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care program.

<![CDATA[Volunteer Role and Registration]]>, 06 Sep 2019 6:29:25 -0700

The Role of the Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer

The role of the Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer is to be of assistance to anyone who may need it…the patient, their families or other members of the care provider team.  The volunteers have indicated their interest in working with, and their ability to relate to patients and families affected with a life limiting condition.

Volunteers are key members of the Hospice Palliative Care team.

These dedicated individuals are viewed by patients and families as peers and as such can provide the human contact which may give the professional members of the care team a clearer insight into patient and family needs.

Volunteers provide patient and family support in ways and at times when professional teams would have been unavailable, inappropriate or inadequate.

The volunteer does not usually see the patient every day, so a certain freshness and vitality arrives with that volunteer which is great support to the care providers and family who may be continuously close to the dying person.

As a non-medical member of the health care team, a volunteer is in a unique position to serve in the role of patient advocate.  Information which the patient is unable to share with doctors, nurses and/or family due to their total dependence on them for their physical well-being is often accessible to the volunteer.  The volunteer can then assist the patient to find non-threatening ways to communicate needs, or if the patient prefers, act as a diplomatic intermediary between patient and caregiver.

<![CDATA[Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer Role]]>, 05 Sep 2019 10:39:20 -0700The Volunteers are an integral part of the Palliative Care Team.  They enhance the quality of life of the patient in many ways.  They provide compassionate support for patients and their families in home, hospital, Long Term Care Home, and Hospice.

The importance of our volunteers to the program cannot be overstated.  Without volunteers we could provide neither the kinds nor the scope of services which are so urgently needed to enhance the quality of the lives of our patients and their families.

As members of the Palliative Care Team, there are specific functions and responsibilities expected of the Palliative Care Volunteer.

Reports to:  Volunteer Coordinator or designate


  • To provide support to a patient who has a life-threatening or terminal conditon and their family.
  • To assist the health care team to provide optimum quality of life to the patient who is dying and their family.
  • To support other Hospice Palliative Care volunteers and staff.

Responsibilities:  These may include

  • Provide companionship and support to the patient and family
  • Provide transportation to appointments, shopping, etc.
  • Provide simple comfort measures for a patient
  • Preparing light meals or carrying out light household tasks
  • Giving reminders of medication schedules but NOT administering medications
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Observing and reporting changes in the patient’s condition to volunteer coordinator or designate
  • Writing letters, or reading to the patient
  • Maintaining records of visits – day – time -  travel
  • Attend Volunteer training program and facility orientation programs
  • Attending regular volunteer meetings
  • Advising volunteer coordinator of sick leave or vacation
  • Using telephone support when needed
<![CDATA[Volunteer Code of Conduct]]>, 05 Sep 2019 10:35:38 -0700
  • I will work together with the Health Care Team, to provide compassionate support to help enhance the quality of life of Hospice/Palliative Care patients and their families.
  • I will conduct myself with the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour.
  • I will demonstrate compassion, honesty and kindness while respecting each persons privacy, dignity and individuality.
  • I will treat each person with respect and consideration.
  • We each bring valuable skills, experience and knowledge to our work and I will respect each persons contribution.
  • ]]>
    <![CDATA[Opportunities]]>, 05 Sep 2019 9:00:46 -0700

    Volunteers are an integral part of the MV Hospice Palliative Care Team working under the direction of our Clinical Director to provide a variety of services.  We have many different opportunities for committed, caring individuals and teams who would like to make a difference in someone’s life. There are no minimum or maximum hours required to be a volunteer.  Volunteers give of their time as they are able.  Some enjoy a specific day and time each week, while others volunteer for a specific person or project as needed.  Services are offered in person’s homes or in institutions, where ever the person resides so support may be provided in varied locations. Volunteers may assist in any preferred location.

    For more information on becoming a volunteer call 613-756-3045 ext. 350

    Possible opportunities include:

    • Direct patient and family assistance
    • Friendly visiting at home
    • Insitutional visiting:
      • Valley Manor
      • St. Francis Memorial Hospital
      • Water Tower Lodge
      • Madawaska Valley Hospice Residence
    • Compassionate Teen Mentor:
      • Visiting in hospital supervising teens
    • Bereavement follow-up:
      • Phone assistance
      • Visitation
    • Bereavement Support Group
    • Caregiver Support Group
    • Dementia Support Group
    • Event assistance:
      • Butterfly Release
      • Hope for the Holidays
    • Office assistance
      • Newsletter publishing or proof reading
      • Stuffing envelopes
    • Equipment Loan Cupboard:
      • Equipment cleaning
      • Equipment maintenance
      • Equipment delivery
    • Bird Feeder Maintenance
    • Hospice Garden Care
    • Hospice Baking
    • Music Recording and Equipment Care
    • Feeding Assistant

    <![CDATA[Volunteers]]>, 21 Feb 2014 8:11:59 -0700