Hospice volunteers provide valuable support to patients and their families. Currently, there is a need for more volunteers locally, said Sherrie Flinn, hospice volunteer coordinator for Samaritan North Lincoln Hospice in Lincoln City and Samaritan Pacific Hospice in Newport.
“I feel we have a responsibility to take care of our neighbors, especially since Lincoln County is a mostly rural county,” Flinn said. When someone is sick, family and friends want to take care of their loved one, but often they need a break to take care of themselves. Hospice volunteers are trained to step in, she explained.
Volunteers receive more than 23 hours of annual training and they are matched to a patient and situation that make both feel comfortable.
There is a particular need for military veterans and people from smaller outlying communities including Beaver, Rose Lodge, Siletz, Logsden, Blodgett and Yachats. Most volunteers work an hour a week per patient, and up to four hours a week if they want to be more involved. Through actions big and small, the effect volunteers have when someone is going through a difficult time is unmistakable, Flinn said. “It’s just a beautiful thing,” she said. “I believe that we all want to find purpose in our lives and sometimes that overflows into the lives of others. That is why we keep doing what we do.”
Those with an interest are invited to attend a free hospice volunteer training course that provides the tools to support patients and families as a hospice volunteer. Training begins March 6 in Lincoln City and March 12 in Newport.
For more information and to start the application process, call Flinn at 541-996-7328 or 541-574-1811.