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UnityPoint Hospice volunteer training begins June 5

June 8, 2014
Reinbeck Courier

-Looking for individuals who want to help local hospice patients and their families-

Have you wanted to get more involved in your community? Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of those around you? UnityPoint Hospice is seeking individuals who are interested in learning more about becoming a hospice volunteer.

UnityPoint Hospice will offer a four-part orientation and training course beginning on Thursday, June 5, and continuing June 12, 19 and 26, for individuals interested in volunteering with hospice patients and their families. All sessions will meet on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. noon at UnityPoint Health Allen Hospital, 1825 Logan Avenue in Waterloo. UnityPoint Hospice provides physical, emotional and spiritual care for end-of-life patients in their place of residence, including their homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes or in a hospital.

"Our volunteers provide compassion and care and are very important to a patient's and family's hospice experience," explained Linda Alexandres, volunteer coordinator at UnityPoint Hospice. "Becoming a hospice volunteer is an excellent way to make an impact in the community. Many of our volunteers state that hospice service is fulfilling, life-affirming, and an honor and a privilege. We offer many opportunities for individuals to serve, depending on their interest, time and talents."

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), there are more than 450,000 trained, hospice volunteers contributing more than 21 million hours annually to hospice organizations across the country. Hospice volunteers work in three general areas: direct patient care-spending time with patients and families; clinical support-providing clerical and other services that support patient care and clinical services; and general support-helping with fundraising efforts and other projects.

UnityPoint Hospice volunteers who choose to work in direct care may spend time reading to and visiting with patients or providing respite care to allow family caregivers a break. Support work may include helping with mailings and other special projects. And because UnityPoint Hospice serves patients living within a 50-mile radius of Waterloo, there are many volunteering opportunities available in different communities.

All individuals interested in becoming a hospice volunteer must complete an orientation and training program. The session provides in-depth education about the end-of-life process. Participants will learn about the goals of hospice, care and comfort measures, the psychosocial and spiritual dynamics of death and dying, grief and bereavement support, and much more.

For more information about becoming a UnityPoint Hospice volunteer, please call Linda Alexandres at 319-235-5027 or email at



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