I’ve often said that volunteers are the lifeblood of hospice. Even a few hours a month can make a big difference. Best of all, volunteering is a win-win for both the giver and the receiver! If you have a caring, compassionate heart and enjoy helping others, I strongly encourage you to become a hospice volunteer. It will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
Help Yourself While Helping Others!
Hospice Volunteers Reap Many Benefits
By Shari Diebold, Volunteer Coordinator, Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care
Becoming a hospice volunteer is a great way to spread joy and cheer to patients and their family caregivers, but did you know that volunteering also yields some big benefits for you? Selflessly “giving back” to others in need in your community can, in turn, boost your own health, career, social life and mental outlook. Consider the following rewards.
A Wellness Formula: According to a study by the Corporation for National & Community Service, a strong relationship exists between volunteering and health. Specifically, researchers found that those who volunteered have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain and heart disease.
Jumpstart Job Skills: In a 2011 article “Why Volunteering is Good for Your Career,” author Nicole Williams points out that volunteering allows for opportunities to showcase talents and experiences, demonstrate passion and commitment, and build meaningful relationships, connections and referrals. She further references research from LinkedIn that shows that one of every five hiring managers in the United States agrees that they have hired a candidate because of volunteer work experience.
Shot of Self Esteem: Helping others brings a sense of accomplishment. As you master new skills and navigate difficult conversations, you naturally bolster your self confidence and develop a sense of pride and satisfaction. Volunteering can be a fun and rewarding way to escape from your day-to-day routine. Hospice volunteers often tell us that in the end, they feel that they get more than they give.
Make New Friends: If you are new to an area or would like to enlarge your social circle, volunteering can be a wonderful way to meet new people who share your interests. In addition, volunteering strengthens ties to your local community and broadens your support network.
A Family Affair: Children pay more attention to what you do than what you say! What better way to connect with your kids than to work alongside them as a volunteer! High school and college students are welcome to join the ranks of hospice volunteers. You can even bring along your certified pet therapy dog!
The Happiness Effect: Researchers at the London School of Economics have discovered that the more people volunteer, the happier they are. In comparison to people who never volunteer, the odds of being “very happy” were seven percent higher among those who volunteered monthly and 12 percent higher among people who volunteered every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16 percent said they felt “very happy.”
At Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care, volunteers come from all walks of life and from throughout the greater Las Vegas area. Every effort is made to match volunteers with patients based on geographic proximity and on their mutual needs and interests. Schedules are flexible. No previous experience is necessary and all training is free.
To learn more about the many hospice volunteer opportunities available at Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care, call 702-870-0000 or e-mail me at SDiebold@solarihospicelv.com.