Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care - Volunteers, 03 Aug 2018 10:49:40 -0700en-us<![CDATA[Training and Education]]>, 03 Aug 2018 10:49:40 -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

Next Training Session - November 12, 15, 19, 22

Topics covered 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
  1. Tour of our Local Funeral Home
  1. Facility Orientation, LTC and Hospital

Bi-monthly Volunteer Touch Base Sessions

"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[Touch Base Newsletters]]>, 04 Jun 2018 7:13:51 -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, 2018 Touch Base Newsletter           Click here to download menu PDF

Highlights include:

- Karen's notes on MVHPC's first Death Cafe in Barry's Bay

- Recap of Dignity Therapy Workshop held at the May Volunteer Touch Base Meeting

- Volunteers attend 28th Annual HPC Education Day

- Important Dates and Upcoming Events

MARCH, 2018 Touch Base Newsletter        Click here to download menu PDF

Highlights include:

- Lisa's message reflecting on this past year

- Karen recaps on the Touch Base Meeting

- MV Hospice offers Grief Support Group

- Important Dates and Upcoming Events

JANUARY, 2018 Touch Base Newsletter     Click here to download menu PDF

Highlights include:

- Karen's notes and the development of MVHPC Compassionate Teen Program

- Lisa's message on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

- Community Paramedic Program

- Important Dates and Upcoming Events

NOVEMBER 2017 Touch Base Newsletter     Click here to download menu PDF

Highlights include:

- Karen welcomes new volunteers

- Lisa's message on our Bereavement Program moving forward

- Dementia Society at the Barry's Bay Coffee Club

- Important Dates and Upcoming Events

AUGUST 2017 Touch Base Newsletter     Click here to download menu PDF

Highlights include:

- Karen promotes Mary Gatschene's (Shalla) book entitled "I'm Not Dead Yet"

- Lisa's Message on the Abuse Policy

- New volunteers need in September and October for our November training

- Important Dates and Upcoming Events

<![CDATA[Volunteer Role and Registration]]>, 21 Jul 2017 12:12:33 -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 Job Description]]>, 24 Aug 2016 12:19:14 -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 Stories]]>, 23 Aug 2016 11:40:08 -0700Being a Volunteer with MV Hospice Palliative Care is one the most rewarding experiences in my life. Visiting with patients and their families is a constant reminder to live my life in a state of gratitude and it has taught me to be humble. Sitting with families as loved ones take their last breaths is for me, a privilege. The privilege of sharing this intimate journey with patients and their families. Just the presence of a Hospice Volunteer can bring comfort, relief and a fresh perspective to patients and their families. If you or someone you know, is considering Hospice Volunteering...just go for it. Talk to Karen Wagner (Hospice Coordinator), and begin the training program. Karen has years of experience and is absolutely awesome at what she does. With Karen's guidance, you can decide during your training what would be a good fit for you. If direct patient care is not your thing, there are so many other ways to contribute. We need Volunteers for snow plowing, garbage runs, cooking, cleaning, shopping, driving to appointments, administration, fundraising...anything you have to offer is always appreciated. Making a difference in someone's life is very fulfilling, and it can also bring purpose to your own life.

Sharon Gardiner
MV Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer

"Reflecting on my time and experiences with MV Hospice, I just realized that one of the things that I most enjoy about my time with our patients is -- I don't need to make a decision about anything -- we just "do" in the "now."
It's like a dance - and the patient leads. This makes the situation so simple and uncomplicated.
To date, I've been exposed to the most wonderful people - our patients have shown their strength, humour, and caring and have helped me so much to help them. During my time with patients at the hospital and Valley Manor, I've been exposed to such wonderful nursing staff and after each visit, I have left with a feeling that I've learned something new and done something to ease someone's burden. And I've learned so much from the families of our patients. I hope I continue to gather these heart-warming benefits from my hospice experiences - I am blessed."

Bev Swrjeski
MV Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer

Dorothy Hannah
MV Hospice Palliative Care Volunteer

<![CDATA[Opportunities]]>, 23 Aug 2016 10:53:24 -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

Direct Patient and Family Assistant / Supportive Care Team

Volunteers offer confidential compassionate support to patients and families.  Volunteers work in teams to provide early palliative companionship, respite and assistance to patients and families primarily in their own homes.  The team may follow a client from home to hospice and following death, offer bereavement assistance to the loved ones.

Special Events or Projects Volunteer

Volunteering for special events or projects offers other avenues to support the great work of MVHPC by sharing your gifts and talents - crafts, gardening, baking, small maintenance jobs, etc.

Loan Cupboard Equipment Maintenance Volunteer

Our Hospice Palliative Care Program offers equipment Loan to patients and families.  Our volunteers receive used equipment that must be inspected, cleaned and repaired before being loaned out to those who would benefit from this free service.

<![CDATA[Volunteers]]>, 21 Feb 2014 8:11:59 -0700<![CDATA[Volunteer Code of Conduct]]>, 20 Feb 2014 1:41:21 -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 voluble skills, experience and knowledge to our work and I will respect each persons contribution.
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