Hospice Compassus seeks bilingual volunteers to assist terminally ill patients
No one should be alone in the final moments of life, says Hospice Compassus.
The hospice recently began recruiting volunteers to provide nonmedical care for terminally ill patients through its Angel Watch program.
But the volunteers it needs most, says Alma Clark, volunteer coordinator for the hospice, are those who are bilingual and can attend Spanish-speaking patients in San Luis, Ariz., Somerton and Gadsden.
The hospice is seeking area residents who would agree to serve as volunteers, or “Angels,” for south county residents who don't have family members to care for them. It will offer training for volunteers over four days starting Tuesday.
The volunteers would not give any medication or any other medical care, she said, but rather would visit patients' homes to comfort or assist them in the final days or hours of life.
“More than anything, they would provide a presence, whether to hold a hand, talk with them, help them to relax or help them to let go,” said Clark.
Hospice Compassus currently has four bilingual volunteers for the south county, “but even one more would be a great help.”
The need for the volunteers is greater in the south county, she said, because some patients' relatives live in Mexico and cannot travel here on short notice.
Anyone wishing to volunteer must be 18 years old or older and must pass a background check, Clark said.
Hospice Compassus will not impose a requirement on the number of hours people volunteer, she added.
“Basically it all depends on the number of hours the volunteer can give. We don't set a minimum.”
In the training period that starts Tuesday, volunteers will learn, among other things, how they fit into the overall range of services that Hospice Compassus provides patients, Clark said.
The training will take place at the library in San Luis, Ariz., 1075 N. 6th Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Clark says those interested in volunteering can call her at 344-6100 or simply show up on the first day of training.