Candice Vetter
Record Staff
HAWKESBURY – Carefor Community Services is looking for home visiting volunteers for its palliative care patients, and has scheduled three local information sessions on working in palliative care.

“Volunteers are central to Carefor’s mission,” said Carmen Verdugo, palliative services coordinator. “Working in partnership with Carefor staff to develop, implement and deliver services that meet the community’s needs, volunteers are greatly appreciated for both their expertise and the time they give.”

She said, “We can’t hide from death…. and we don’t know what kind of end-of-life journey awaits us. We would however, like to believe and hope, that we are not alone on this journey when the light of life starts to dim and darkness seems to be everywhere. To be heard, understood, and cared for at these times, is a very human need.”

Carefor needs to fill a growing need in the Prescott Russell Eastern Counties for those whose life expectancy may have been shortened through a progressive and/or terminal illness.

Last year, Carefor started a palliative day program in Hawkesbury to support the needs of those clients in Prescott Russell who would like an opportunity to share with others going through similar life experiences. The program support group can include discussions, reflexology, Reiki, music, zoo therapy, and guest speakers. The home visiting volunteers’ goals include allowing the client and caregiver the highest quality of life possible each day by providing relief, friendship, listening and sharing through their presence.

Those interested in volunteering will receive a 30-hour free training course through the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, which is given by a healthcare professional. A vulnerable police check is obligatory and required before starting the training along with a personal interview.

Information sessions will be available starting this month. Sessions will run on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, on Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9 and Sept. 16. Contact Verdugo at 613-632-0418 or for course registration and information on becoming a palliative volunteer.

Carefor volunteers come from all walks of life, including retirees who want to meet new people, help others and stay active, young people volunteering as part of their education and community service hours, professionals who want to be involved in their community, newcomers to the community, service groups such as Rotary or Lions Clubs and other special interest groups, students who require clinical or cooperative placement, or people who want to make a real difference.

Carefor will provide ongoing support and recognition for your efforts within the organization.

When you become a volunteer Carefor will match your strengths, interests and available time to a volunteer role that’s right for you; give you a clear picture of the position requirements and the training to do it well; support you in your volunteer role through regular contact; provide ongoing educational opportunities to assist you in your role and to introduce you to new opportunities and friends; and give you the care and appreciation you deserve.