About hospice…

The modern concept of hospice was developed in England in 1967 by Dr. Cicely Saunders.  In the United States, hospice was originally run by volunteers who cared for dying patients. From these acts of compassion, the hospice movement was born.

The goal of hospice…

is to provide comfort, reduce suffering, and preserve patient dignity. Hospice is a field of medicine that focuses on the comprehensive care of patients with life limiting illnesses. Hospice is not a place, but rather a team of individuals providing complementary services that offer support, resources, and assistance to our patients, their families and loved ones.

Volunteers are valued…

members of the hospice team, sharing the desire to bring comfort and the best quality of life to our patients. We welcome volunteers from all walks of life, and carefully match the needs of patients and families with the volunteer who is best able to provide the type of care needed.

What does a hospice volunteer do?

Think of hospice volunteers as doing what a good friend would do in the same situation. Of the many opportunities for a volunteer to touch lives, some examples include:

  • Companionship and emotional support for patients and families
  • Pet Therapy
  • Listening to music or playing music for a patient or family
  • Artistic expression: painting, drawing, knitting, quilting, poetry, journaling, or scrapbooking
  • Holding someone’s hand
  • Praying or reading
  • Bedside Vigil
  • Honor our Veterans
  • Assist with office tasks
  • Make bereavement follow-up calls

Training is provided…

to ensure the best experience for all. Some volunteers go through extensive training to directly serve patients, while others provide valued assistance in the office.

Orientation topics include: 

  • Hospice 101: History & Hospice Philosophy of Care
  • The Role of the Volunteer; patient rights
  • Effective Communication with the Dying and those who care for them
  • Signs and Symptoms of approaching death
  • Infection Control, Safety, & Standard Precautions
  • Family Dynamics; Needs of patients & families
  • Psychological and spiritual issues related to death and dying
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Dementia Care

Can you imagine?

Volunteers bring joy and provide comfort to the patient and family. Consider joining our team of nurses, home health aides, social worker and spiritual care coordinator where your time, unique talents and compassionate heart will be appreciated.

Ready to take action?

CLICK HERE to access the Hospice Volunteer Application

If you or someone you know might like to share their compassionate care with a patient or family, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more information at info@westriverhospice.com or contact the office at 781-707-9578.


* All volunteers must submit an application, interview with the Hospice Volunteer Manager and complete background checks and health screening, and attend orientation and ongoing training.


“We cannot change the outcome, but we can affect the journey”   

~ Ann Richardson