Volunteer Visitors

Become a Volunteer Visitor.

We’re currently accepting applications for our Fall 2018 Volunteer Visitor Training.  It’s a very rewarding experience and a wonderful way to make a difference.

More details can be found here:  Hospice of Santa Cruz County Volunteer Training Flyer Fall 2018

Download the Volunteer Visitor Application here.

Please contact Forbes Ellis, Director of Volunteer Services at fellis@hospicesantacruz.org or 831 430 3045

Become a Volunteer Visitor at Hospice of Santa Cruz County

Make a difference and join our caring team!

Volunteer Visitors provide companionship and emotional support to hospice patients and families. Like a friendly neighbor, Volunteer Visitors may simply extend a hand to hold or help with practical tasks like running errands, light meal preparation, light touch massage, and other tasks.

Volunteer Visitors can also provide a much needed break for caregivers.  As a member of the patient care team, they may help to facilitate communication between family members and the larger Hospice team.  Another way Volunteers serve patients and families is by vigiling. Vigiling is a way of being present and supportive at the bedside of patients residing at home or in facilities during the last day or two of a patient’s life.

There are certain qualities that many of our Volunteer Visitors possess that help them to be effective in the volunteer role.  Volunteer Visitors are:

  • Empathetic, compassionate, non-judgmental, and patient
  • Comfortable with a wide variety of people
  • Skilled at listening and putting others at ease
  • Able to care for their own emotional, physical and spiritual needs, including asking for support when needed
  • Able to receive and give constructive feedback in an open, respectful manner
  • Dependable, flexible, and  able to adapt to evolving needs and requirements of clients, program, and agency

Volunteers with special interests are also needed like those who are:

  • Musical and can sing or play a musical instrument
  • Certified Massage Therapists
  • Pet lovers and wish to train their dogs to become Pet Companions
  • Bi-lingual in English & Spanish and/or bi-cultural
  • Veterans wanting to serve other veterans

Getting Started

All Volunteer Visitors participate in a comprehensive, 30 hour training that provides the skills and tools needed to support hospice patients and their families.  The training sessions include topics such as effective communication and presence, boundaries, spiritual care, diversity, grief and loss from a cross-cultural perspective, infection control, privacy and regulatory issues, light touch massage, the roles & responsibilities of a Volunteer Visitor, and more. Trainings are held twice a year, once in the Spring in our Watsonville office and once in the Fall in our Scotts Valley office. Please contact Forbes Ellis, Director of Volunteer Services, for more information at 831 430 3045 or fellis@hospicesantacruz.org

Following the training, Volunteer Volunteers are asked to make the following commitment:

  • A minimum one year commitment after completing the training
  • Serve patients for 4 hours per week
  • Report on visits and phone calls online with patients and families
  • Attend monthly volunteer support groups and four, two-hour continuing education trainings annually
  • For more information about our training, read the Volunteer Visitor Flyer