Hospice seeks young volunteers -but all are welcome

Now hes is looking to tap into the younger generation in the market for more volunteers and the Plattsburgh State University campus is where hell begin the search. Some of our patients just love the energy they feel from the youth, Scott said. It allows them to reminisce about the times in their younger years. And, not all Hospice patients are elderly; they tend to be less in numbers, but young people and even children can be on the list of terminally ill as well. Scott said hes already had a few PSU students show an interest in becoming Hospice volunteers so he plans to visit the campus in search of even more. See HOSPICE, page 14 Hospice From page 1 Some may be apprehensive about being around someone who is nearing the end of their life, but that is a normal reaction, Scott said. Its a natural thing to be hesitant or scared, he said. Just be genuine, is what we tell people. Marquis explained that he first interviews patients to gain an understanding of their needs, personalities and backgrounds before assigning them a volunteer. We try to match the volunteer with a patient with similar interests, he said. Often times the young volunteers say they enjoy working with elderly patients - they all have a story to tell and some can be quite interesting. It can be a positive thing for both ends of the spectrum, Scott said. He offers a 22-hour training course that is usually conducted over a span of four days, although scheduling can be flexible. The course also involves informational meetings with the various Hospice disciplines covering such topics as grieving, history of the non-profit organization, privacy and confidentiality. We make sure they have a full understanding of why they are there, Scott said. Volunteers are provided with the pertinent information about the patient and instructed make an introductory call prior to the visit. The services Hospice provides are also a huge help to the entire family, he noted. Part of our services includes respite time, which provides the family a chance to go out to do shopping or for time for themselves, he explained. According to Scott there is always a need for recruits, especially in the Northern Tier and rural areas, and Hospice is more than willing to work around jobs or classes. If you have only an hour in a year, I can use that, he said. And believe me, your time will be appreciated.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment