Haywood Regional Medical Center Seeking Hospice Volunteers

March 28, 2016

The Homestead at Haywood Regional Medical Center is currently seeking interested hospice volunteers to register for upcoming orientation and patient care training.

Volunteers are an integral part of the hospice team, filling roles that range from direct contact with patients to providing clerical support for the organization. Hospices that participate with Medicare are required to utilize volunteers alongside their paid clinical and administrative staff. Hospice volunteers describe their work as gratifying, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally meaningful. Hospices require a lot from their volunteers and value them greatly.

The new volunteer orientation session will be held on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 from 9:00 am till 12:30 pm at Haywood Regional Medical Center in the Clinical Learning Building (Old Urgent Care Building located behind the Hospital). Everyone interested in being a hospice volunteer must attend this orientation and RSVP by calling Eric Mills at (828) 452-5039.

Volunteers then proceed to the required Patient Care Training (3 days of additional training) – Thursday - April 21st;  Thursday – April 28th and Friday – April 29th from 9:00 am till 1:00 pm Haywood Regional Medical Center in the Clinical Learning Building.


Support for patients. This can include visiting, reading, taking walks, writing letters, interpreting for those who do not speak English, bringing in music, and supervising therapeutic visits with pets. Volunteers with necessary certification can also provide massage therapy. Some hospices also utilize volunteers who offer complementary therapies such as aromatherapy or therapeutic touch.

Respite and support for family members. Volunteers can assist with shopping or light household maintenance, or allow family caregivers the opportunity to take care of necessary errands, exercise, or simply have some time alone. Volunteers can also help care for a family pet.

Bereavement support programs. Hospice volunteers can work closely with the hospice’s bereavement staff. Duties may include assisting a support group facilitator, serving refreshments, or helping with mailings to families.

Administrative work. A volunteer with clerical skills can serve a hospice by helping in the office with administrative duties.

Special skills and interests. Many hospices utilize volunteers to maintain their grounds and landscaping. Notaries, barbers and beauticians often volunteer their services to patients. Musicians often volunteer to play at hospice inpatient facilities.

Special requirements

Most hospices require volunteers to be over the age of 18. It is not uncommon for people whose loved one died in hospice care to want to volunteer for the hospice provider soon after the death, but most hospices require newly bereaved volunteer candidates to wait for a period of time before volunteering at the bedside. Hospices typically require prospective volunteers to submit to a background check, usually at the hospice's expense. To ensure that volunteers are equipped for the challenge of working with the dying, they are required to complete extensive orientation and training sessions. A hospice may require volunteers to have a valid driver's license, particularly if the volunteer will be traveling to patient homes. 

Please call Eric Mills at (828) 452-5039 for more information and to RSVP for hospice volunteer training.

Haywood Regional Medical Center Hospice & Palliative Care offers six inpatient hospice beds and is the first facility of its kind west of Asheville. Each staff member at The Homestead is hand-picked for their competence and caring. Once chosen, these staff members are specially trained and become experts in end-of-life care.  

The concept for this facility began in 2004. In the span of time from concept to completion, every detail ensures that the experience is as close to being at home as it gets. Patients/families will feel a sense of well-being in this place. During their stay, they may also take advantage of the amenities available including Individually controlled room temperature & ceiling fans, porch access from every room with beautiful views, sleeper chairs for an overnight stay, heat lamps in patient bathrooms, oxygen outlets to facilitate freedom of movement throughout the building , soothing lighting, family laundry for making patient clothing smell like home, kitchen access to prepare favorite comfort foods, public and private sitting rooms, complimentary hot drinks, and visits by family pets who meet visitation guidelines
In keeping with the Homestead theme, each room is named for an heirloom quilt pattern. In the mountain heritage, quilts were lovingly made in the coming together of women in the community. So in essence, to be wrapped in a handmade quilt is to be wrapped in the warmth and love of the community.  There is, perhaps, no better analogy than the fact that The Homestead was entirely funded by charitable gifts and the support of the community.

The mission statement is, “Making a Difference, One Life at a Time”; yet for us, it isn’t just a mission statement – it’s a commitment and the staff is thankful to be entrusted with their patient’s end of life care. As a part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, The Homestead and Haywood Hospice and Palliative Care are supported by Duke University Health System’s world-renowned leadership in clinical excellence and quality care and LifePoint Health’s extensive resources, knowledge and experience in operating community hospitals. Visit us at www.myhaywoodregional.com .