“We cannot change the outcome, but we can affect the journey”. (Ann Richardson)
The Prairie Mountain Health Palliative Care Volunteer Service is celebrating the return of Palliative Care Volunteers to many communities in the Prairie Mountain Health Region. Palliative Care Volunteers come alongside dying individuals and their families to provide dedicated, caring and compassionate support throughout their end of life journey.
Palliative Care Volunteers complement the existing professional services to provide emotional, psychosocial and spiritual support for palliative care clients and their families. Volunteers offer companionship, emotional or practical support, caregiver respite and bereavement follow-up services. Additionally, volunteers can be called upon to sit vigil with someone who is imminently dying; ensuring that the client is not alone or providing additional supports to the family that is present.
Holly, a volunteer in Minnedosa, describes “The most rewarding aspect of sitting with someone is the ability to provide support, reassurance and a caring presence…When I was a nurse, I remember the palliative care sitters made such a valued difference and now I can emulate that by volunteering with the program”.
Palliative Care Volunteers come from all walks of life, age, ethnicity, faith and professional backgrounds. Volunteers share a common desire to help individuals, families and their local community. Penny, a volunteer from Erickson, summarizes “At some time, in some way, we must all face the end of life. Most of us share a common hope that when we die we will feel safe, comfortable, free of pain and surrounded by those we love and who care for us. As a palliative care volunteer, I am part of a caring community of family, friends and staff working to make this hope a reality”.
Palliative Care Volunteers are required to complete a volunteer application, provide criminal record checks, sign a code of confidentiality and attend the Palliative Care Volunteer Training Program. The next volunteer training session will be held in-person on April 20, April 27 and May 4th in Minnedosa. Pre-registration is required and will be held in accordance with all public health guidelines.
Additional training sessions will be announced soon.