The Compassus hospice program serving Wausau seeks volunteers to provide comfort and support to patients and their families. The program serves patients in Marathon, Portage, Shawano and Waupaca counties.
Volunteers are an integral part of the Compassus care team and are relied upon to provide companionship and dignity to members of the community facing serious and life-limiting illness.
The Wausau program is seeking three types of volunteers:
• Veteran volunteers from all military branches are critically important because they understand the unique needs of their fellow veterans. The Compassus Veterans-to-Veterans Program pairs veteran volunteers with hospice patients who have been identified as veterans to offer camaraderie and compassionate care. Volunteers also honor veterans with pinning ceremonies and other recognition events.
• Non-medical volunteers provide companionship to the patient and respite for the caregiver.
They can donate their talents and time in a variety of ways, including running errands, preparing meals and simply listening. Remote volunteer opportunities such as making phone calls to patients and caregivers, writing greeting cards and crafting projects are also available.
• Pet therapy volunteers visit hospice patients with their certified therapy animal to offer comfort, peace and a calming presence. Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Participants can dedicate the amount of time that best fits their schedule and volunteer in their area of residence or beyond the borders of their community. Prospective volunteers are subject to a background check, tuberculosis testing, interview and one-on-one training. Training will be provided in accordance with proper social distancing and face covering protocols.
To learn more about volunteering, contact Dawn Freedlund at 800-398-1297 or visit the Volunteer page on our Wausau site.
Published on the Wausau Pilot & Review.