From the community

Hospice of Eastern Maine offers volunteer training course

Posted Aug. 22, 2014, at 1:34 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Hospice of Eastern Maine has scheduled its 2014 volunteer training course for 12:30-4:30 p.m. on six consecutive Monday afternoons, Oct. 13-Nov. 17, at the EMMC Healthcare Mall, 885 Union St. HOEM invites caring men and women who feel drawn to helping neighbors who are terminally ill to apply for a space in this fall’s class.

HOEM volunteers are people of all ages and walks of life who share their time and friendship with people who have a life expectancy of 6 or fewer months. Volunteers live in a 25-mile radius of Bangor and generally give two to four hours of time a week when assigned to a patient. They serve both HOEM and Community Health and Counseling Services Hospice patients and are members of an interdisciplinary group that plans and delivers patient care.

The comprehensive training course will help participants better understand the dynamics of end-of-life and prepare them to effectively provide companionship, emotional support, respite and bereavement care for hospice patients and their families.

Hospice is holistic care that focuses on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their family caregivers. Trained professionals provide the physical, psych-social, and spiritual aspects of care while hospice volunteers offer comfort care, such as, actively listening, talking, playing games, reading, writing letters, recording memoirs, preparing a meal, or driving to appointments.  Volunteers are usually assigned to only one patient and family at a time.

Hospice of Eastern Maine is Bangor’s oldest hospice and has been meeting the end-of-life needs in local communities since 1981.  HOEM is a program of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and part of Eastern Maine HomeCare.

For more information about becoming a patient care volunteer or to learn about other volunteer opportunities with Hospice of Eastern Maine, call Wayne Melanson, volunteer manager, at 973-8269 or e-mail wmelanson@emhs.org. Aspiring patient care volunteers must complete an application and interview prior to Friday, Oct. 10. Class size is limited to 15.

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