North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency, an affiliate of North Country Healthcare, which serves all of Coös and the northern half of Grafton counties, is happy to announce its upcoming Hospice Volunteer Training. This training is free and open to community members from all over the North Country who are interested in being involved in the hospice program, or who would like to learn more about end-of-life care and issues of death and dying for personal and/or professional reasons.
The Hospice Volunteer Training will be offered in-person in Whitefield, NH on April 1, April 8, April 15, and April 22 from 9am to 1pm. Gwen Dovholuk, RN, BSN, CHPN, hospice and palliative care liaison, will facilitate this 16-hour course. The range of topics presented and contemplated in the group include the history and philosophy of hospice, perspectives on death and dying, self-care, communication and listening skills, signs of impending death, and comfort care, grief and loss, and care of spirit.
Hospice is a philosophy of care and a delivery system of that care. It is about living and dying well; being as comfortable, complete and at peace as possible. Hospice is acknowledging that we are dying (which is usually the hardest part) and then living until we do. The guiding premise is that people’s needs at their end-of-life are much more than just medical. Although hospice care is directed by physicians and provided primarily by nurses who specialize in end-of-life care, volunteers, social workers, clergy, home health aides, and homemakers are all essential contributors to the care and well-being of the patient and their loved ones.
Participating in the hospice training does not commit individuals to become volunteers. Participants can decide after completing the program if they wish to continue and join the NCHHHA Hospice Volunteer Program. The opportunities hospice volunteers can provide for patients include companionship and respite care, sitting vigil in the last hours, supportive tasks in the home (such as cooking, walking the dog), bereavement support, hospice administrative assistance, and professional services (such as massage therapy, reiki, grooming, music therapy — all professional services require proof of licensure/certification depending on profession).
Your compassion and commitment are welcome for taking part in the end-of-life care in your community. To register for the training or for further information, please call 603-444-5317 or email Gwen at [email protected]. Pre-registration is required.