Volunteer Services Available


Support Visit:

Sometimes it can be beneficial to have someone to speak to who is outside of the family, whose feelings you don’t have to shield or protect. Our volunteers are there to listen, in an atmosphere of care, confidentiality and respect. Sometimes a one off appointment is all that is needed, whilst for others, ongoing visits that take place weekly or fortnightly are very beneficial. Support visits are provided according to your unique needs.

Social Visit:
For others, just having the company of a volunteer to talk with is what is really needed. Sometimes it’s just the presence of the other person, or the opportunity to share something light that brings comfort.

Respite Visit:
Our volunteer service recognises that carers have the need for space to get tasks done. It is also important that carers get much needed time out. While we are not able to provide overnight or long-day respite, our Volunteers are available to provide up to three hours of respite care.
Please note:

While our Palliative Care Volunteers are specially trained, they are not health care practitioners and cannot take the place of nursing staff. They are not able to assist with lifting, personal care or with dispensing medication. They are not associated with home care and therefore do not carry out house work.

Transport to an Appointment
A number of our volunteers are available to assist through taking either patients or carers to GP, hospital, specialist, or other health appointments. Where transportation to appointments is needed, the Coordinator will assign a volunteer, who will then contact you and arrange a time to collect and return you to and from your appointment. Please note that this service is available to both patients and carers.

To help us assist you, please give the Coordinator of Volunteers a minimum of two days notice when requesting a volunteer to assist with transportation. Due to the availability of volunteers, there maybe times when we may not be able to provide this service. Please note that volunteers are not allowed to assist with the physical lifting or transferring of patients to and from vehicles.

Assistance with Shopping and/or Social Outing

We have volunteers who are available to assist carers and patients with their shopping, or to take them out for a social outing. Sometimes living with a palliative illness can mean patients are restricted and no longer enjoy outings that were previously taken for granted. In these situations a trip to the local beach, or a ride in the car can provide patients with needed breaks from the confines of their home.

Relaxation/Meditation

Meditation has been shown to have benefits such as in the reduction of stress levels, and in assisting with pain management. The use of relaxation and visualization can bring about feelings of ease and calm which can be highly beneficial.

We have a group of volunteers who are trained in giving relaxation and meditation for patients and their carers. To arrange an appointment – please contact the coordinator of volunteers, who will arrange an appointment for you with a relaxation trained volunteer. These appointments usually take place in the comfort of the patient’s own home.

Therapeutic Hand & Foot Massage

Touch through simple hand and foot massage can also assist in imparting feelings of relaxation and respite from stress. Hand and foot massage can be combined with relaxation/meditation sessions or held separately. If you would like massage included please mention this when talking to the volunteer coordinator who can assign you through linking you with a massage trained volunteer.

Bowen Therapy

This technique involves a gentle system of muscle and connective tissue moves, which help to balance the body and stimulate energy flow. The Bowen technique involves frequent pauses through the session that allows the body time to respond. The beauty of this technique is it is non-invasive and causes no trauma to muscles or joints. Additionally Bowen therapy improves circulation and lymphatic drainage and can help ease emotional stresses and aid feelings of wellbeing.

Reflexology

Reflexology is a modality in which specific points on the feet are worked upon that correspond with parts of the body. This deeply relaxing therapy can be beneficial in easing stress related conditions and reduce back and neck pain, headaches/migraines and respiratory conditions.

Please note:

Massage may be contraindicated for patients who have certain conditions. It is advisable to check with your GP or Palliative care liaison nurse before commencing therapeutic massage.

Narrative and Letter Writing

We believe that everyone has a story, and one of the services available to our palliative care patients is gaining assistance in telling your story, through help from a Palliative care volunteer. Whether you want to:

  • Informally list your thoughts
  • Write messages to those you love for now or a future time
  • Record your life-story
  • Compile funny tales from your life
  • Have a go at writing poetry
  • Create a journal

Any of the above can be made easier – through the help of a volunteer who can assist you through practical means such as scribing for you, listening and talking with you about your ideas, and bringing a recording device to tape your voice.

SERVICES AVAILABLE AT HOME

  • Social visit (patient)
  • Respite visit (carer)
  • Transport to appointment
  • Social outing (drive, trip to beach, etc)
  • Assistance with shopping
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Relaxation/meditation
  • Narrative therapy

SERVICES AVAILABLE IN HOSPITAL/NURSING HOME

  • Social visit (patient)
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Relaxation/meditation
  • Narrative therapy

SERVICES AVAILABLE AT SUPPORT CENTRES

  • Social contact for patient and/or carer
  • Relaxation/meditation
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Narrative therapy
  • Assistance with hair/makeup/nails
  • Transport