BECKLEY, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – Hospice of Southern West Virginia is seeking volunteers to provide care and companionship to patients.
According to Tyler Jordon, Director of Public Relations for Hospice of Southern West Virginia, the facility has had a difficult time recruiting volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many of our volunteers are retired or older and are hesitant to volunteer because of potential COVID exposure,” Jordon said. “It is more difficult with all the hesitancy, but volunteering has always been a very vital part of our success.”
While COVID has made it difficult for the facility to recruit volunteers, Jordon says it has also made it more difficult for patients to see family and friends. Because of this, the relationship between volunteer and resident is essential as volunteers provide “much-needed companionship to patients.”
Jordon said that Hospice has also recently struggled to recruit an adequate number of volunteers from the armed services, who understand the unique needs of the veterans under the facility’s care and can help provide high levels of care and comfort.
Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s volunteer program is open to individuals high school age and older, working professionals, retirees, homemakers, college students, and anyone looking to brighten someone else’s life.
To become a volunteer, each individual must complete a six-hour training course. Volunteers interested in providing care to patients in their homes, in the nursing home environment, or at the Bowers Hospice House, will undergo further training. All volunteers must undergo a background check and a drug test and are subject to HIPAA compliance and code of ethics.
The facility ensures that all volunteers are adequately safeguarded from COVID-19 by providing them with personal protective equipment (PPE) and the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Aside from companionship, volunteers help staff in other areas as needed, including running errands, preparing light meals, assisting with hobbies, etc.
For more information on how to volunteer, visit https://hospiceofsouthernwv.org/volunteer.