This year has been bizarre, to say the least. COVID-19 drastically changed the way hospice care is provided, leaving us in a perpetual state of change. That’s true for Faith and Hope Hospice in Pasadena. One major change limits volunteers’ ability to see patients, as we’ve had to stop all face-to-face visits. That’s not going to stop us though!
We have some new opportunities available for our volunteers to help, supporting our patients and their families from a distance and supporting our staff to provide the best hospice care Los Angeles has to offer. Here are just a few ways you can engage:
- Pen Pals: Skilled nursing and assisted living facilities are severely restricting who can enter their buildings. This has limited almost all visitors, even family can’t visit. We can address this by sending letters or postcards to these patients. It’s an easy and friendly way to engage with patients from a distance.
- Filing / Packets: We always have paperwork that needs to be filed and appreciate any help we can get with this. We also have packets of information (Hospice Admission, Advance Care Planning, etc.). These are truly helpful for the patients and families that we serve.
- Receptionist: As you can imagine, we get a lot of calls. Currently, we all answer calls; whoever is available answers. This keeps the wait time down for callers. It can be really distracting though. Having a volunteer to answer calls would be a great relief for all the staff in the office. This role will require a larger time commitment than most of the other opportunities as it requires at least 4 hours in the office.
- Bereavement Phone Calls: The bereavement program provides one year of grief support to the families of deceased patients. This includes mailings and check-in phone calls. Each call typically lasts under 5 minutes. Volunteers will be given extra training before making calls and the Bereavement Services Coordinator will be available to support the volunteer while making these calls.
- Memory Bears and Pillows: These huggable creations are incredible ways to continue the bond with a loved one after they pass. Our volunteers make the bears and pillows from a patient’s article of clothing. Children and adults find these very comforting.
- Legacy Projects: It is important for many people to leave something lasting after they die, something for their family to connect with even after the death. For many people, this means writing their life story or important events from their life. Some make a picture book, some even make a painting, clay sculpture, or something else entirely! Volunteers can help with this process.
These are the new opportunities that we have identified, but we’re open to new ideas as well! Call our Volunteer Coordinator, Jessica, at 818-559-1460 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help out with any of these projects or to share ideas.
Just another way Faith and Hope Hospice is ensuring that Los Angeles end of life care is the best in the country!