As a hospice volunteer I feel that I was able to make tremendous impact on the lives of the patients, caregivers, and families I served, but as a volunteer I also benefited from the giving of my time and talents. I worked directly with patients and families, I learned to have a greater appreciation for life and understanding of what is truly important, and deeper understanding and acceptance of the role of death in the process of life, an enriched understanding of different cultures and life perspectives, and sense of fulfillment and contribution to the community. I learned to:
• Listen to a patient's concerns.
• Be a comforting and supportive presence.
• Engage in the patient's hobbies, for example, playing a board game or discussing current events.
• Tell other hospice staff the needs of the hospice patient and family.
• Run errands or doing light housekeeping for the patient and family.
• Encourage the patient to tell their life story.
• Transport a patient to physician visits or shopping.
• Provide time for the caregiver to take care of her/his self.
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