Why volunteer with hospice?

Andree Rioux, the executive director of the Revelstoke Hospice Society, writes about why people volunteer for the organization.

Community Comment, by Andree Rioux

Why volunteer?

Have you ever thought why do people volunteer? I have often asked our current volunteers with the Revelstoke Hospice this question – why? The answer that each current volunteer gives is different, but there is a theme.

Some volunteers will share a personal story of a loved one who received hospice care in the past. It may have been a spouse, parent or friend that was receiving hospice care. And after the loved one passed away, they now they feel it’s time to give back.

There are some volunteers that have a medical background. They have told me that they are at a point in their life that they want to give back to the community.

The recurring theme is giving. Giving of ourselves and our time can make a huge difference to a person’s life. Revelstoke is known as a destination for extreme sports and beautiful scenery, but in this little mountain town there are seniors who are dealing with social isolation. There are people that are facing terminal illnesses. In these scenarios, having someone to share or to have someone who can just listen makes a huge difference to that person’s quality of life.

When your loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness the emotions and thoughts are everywhere. The emotions can be difficult to describe. Some people want to share their experience and situation, while others have the need to retreat.  Volunteers can be that someone to speak to or to just be there. Grief shared is grief diminished.

Revelstoke Hospice Society serves clients and their families that are facing terminal illnesses. The society also has a second program called Pals. Pals is a visitation program for seniors who often live in residential care facilities who may have no family in Revelstoke. Sometimes their families are not able to visit often due to work and other responsibilities. In some scenario’s the family members do not live in Revelstoke.

I often think what makes a healthy, vibrant society is how we take care of vulnerable people.

Throughout Revelstoke there are wonderful organizations, societies, etc… that support people in various stages and types of crisis. We are very fortunate for what we have in Revelstoke. There are some very dedicated and compassionate people that volunteer many hours in helping people throughout Revelstoke.

The Revelstoke Hospice Society was incorporated as a society in 1994 and continues to offer support to the community of Revelstoke. Revelstoke has been generous in its support throughout the years.

Would you say you are a compassionate and giving person who has a few hours a week to share with someone who needs a friendly visit? Would you say you’re a person who values the quality of human life? If you answered yes, then maybe it’s “time” for you to consider volunteering.

Andree Rioux is the executive director of the Revelstoke Hospice Society.