OCEAN COUNTY – “Many of our volunteers tell us they get more than they give from supporting our patients and their families,” reports Holy Redeemer HomeCare and Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Spiro Ballas. He described that Hospice Volunteers provide practical support, like giving a caregiver some respite, or doing the weekly shopping, but they are also ready to listen supportively, allowing patients and caregivers to say what they need to say during their very sensitive time. Ballas continued to describe that other volunteers offer skills like Massage, Music, or Pet Therapy to those facing the death of a loved one. And he mentioned at others times, volunteers will sit vigil, so no one dies alone.
A 6-week training program will start in early February 2019. The program is designed to increase volunteers’ knowledge of hospice services, as often family members will ask questions. However, the bulk of the program is to help individuals to feel comfortable comforting the dying and those caring for them, addressing subjects like bereavement support and listening skills.
An Introductory Packet is available for those who want to explore this type of volunteering. The deadline for registering is January 28th, 2019. There will be afternoon and evening sessions to accommodate people’s different schedules. However, each class is limited to 12 people. To receive an Introductory Packet, simply contact Ballas at [ SBallas@HolyRedeemer.com ], or at 732-288-7037, providing your name and mailing address, as the Packet is printed and will be mailed to you.
The training is free, but a commitment to volunteer is expected. The Ocean County office of Holy Redeemer HomeCare and Hospice is a nonprofit agency, serving all of Ocean County, regardless of age, gender, race or economic status.