MV hospice looking for volunteers of all backgrounds

BARRY’S BAY – Can you clean? Are you a good listener? Can you pour wine?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is a volunteer position awaiting you at Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care (MVHPC).

This program gives people the choice of where they want to spend their final days, whether it’s at home, in the hospice or at the hospital. Volunteers are essential to the program, as they help in any way they can, whether that means providing comfort to the patient or washing the dishes for a grieving family.

Although palliative care helps those at end-of-life, the volunteer position is anything but blue. So say two active helpers – Theresa Olsheskie and Theresa Kramer. In fact, Kramer recently spent part of one of her shifts pouring wine for family members inside the hospice as they celebrated the life of a loved one.

The two women are encouraging anyone interested in making a difference to sign up for an upcoming four-day training course, which touches on everything from being a good listener to dealing with bereavement and grief. Once the 30-hour course is completed, volunteers are qualified to assist families anywhere in the hospital’s catchment area.

Lisa Hubers is the MVHPC program manager. She said the fast-approaching training sessions are free, and will be held October 24 and 27 and November 1 and 4. If someone is unavailable to attend one of the days, the course can be accessed online, and hospice staff are willing to help volunteers complete their training.

The best part of volunteering with the organization, Hubers said, is the flexibility. Those who feel comfortable helping in the hospice can do so, or those who want to help those at home in their own community have that choice as well.

Get your October 5, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.