Scott Sissman, a Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions’ volunteer, can see amazement in people’s eyes when he tells them he volunteers at Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions. “Their eyes often say ‘Wow! I don’t know how you can do that!”
But it isn’t emotionally draining or difficult at all. “Hospice isn’t about dying. It’s about living life to the fullest despite a life-limiting illness. I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction and enjoyment from volunteering at Hospice. I love being with Hospice patients. I meet people in the most extreme part of their life; often I get to know them at the bottom of their core. It is rewarding to get to be their friend at the end of their life. I know I am making a huge difference in the quality of their life.”
Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions is Casper’s only non-profit hospice facility. It serves patients from all over the state at the end of life; with both inpatient and outpatient care services. When a family is coping with a serious illness and a cure is no longer possible, Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions provides comfort and dignity with expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support from an interdisciplinary team of professionals and trained volunteers.
“Our volunteers are here for patients and their family before, during, and after the dying process. They give their time and skills to help our patients live the rest of their lives,” Marilyn Connor, Director of Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions said. “Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions is very fortunate to have great volunteers helping in every way they can.”
Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions is always eager to welcome new volunteers. Volunteering at Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions is all about patient support and companionship. “You don’t have to be a nurse or have a medical background to volunteer; you only need to want to help,” says Connor. “There is something for everyone.”
Whether you were introduced to hospice through the death of a loved one in hospice care or you are new to hospice and just want to help make a difference in someone’s life, there are many volunteer opportunities available to you.
- Support for patients. This can include visiting, reading, taking walks, writing letters, bringing in music, or supervising visits with pets.
- Respite and support for family members. Volunteers can assist with shopping or household chores, or allow family caregivers the opportunity to run errands or get some time away from the house. Family members also appreciate a visit from a compassionate friend who understands what they are going through.
- Bereavement support programs. Volunteers can work closely with professional bereavement staff assisting as a support group facilitator, serving refreshments, or helping with mailings.
- Fundraising. Fundraising responsibilities can range from preparing mailings or thank you letters to helping organize fundraising events and contacting possible donors.
To ensure that all volunteers are equipped with all the necessary tools they need, Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions provides volunteers with extensive orientation and training sessions. It’s important that volunteers understand the history of hospice care and are aware of the specific ways Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions works to serve the community. “The Hospice staff treats their volunteers very well,” Sissman said. “They give you the tools you need, but they also respect your time. These days you can volunteer at a lot of places, but Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions staff are grateful for our service and treat it as precious.”
Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions is a non-profit organization. Through the gracious financial and volunteer support of their community, they never turn away a patient for their inability to pay. For additional information on hospice and to learn how to volunteer, please visit www.cwhp.org or contact Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions at (307) 577-4832.