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Volunteers needed to support Sudbury hospice clients at home

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The Maison McCulloch Hospice in Sudbury needs some compassionate volunteers.

The non-profit not only offers end-of-life care at its residential facility but also to people who want to spend their final days at home.

Right now, the hospice needs volunteers in its community program.

“From what we see and understand, dying is a very isolating journey,” said Julie Aube, executive director of Maison McCulloch Hospice.

“So to be able to have that experience and extra level of psycho-social stimulation and support, it’s magical.”

Suzette Forget, client services coordinator at the hospice, runs the community program in which she matches trained volunteers with people at end of life.

“The volunteers are companions,” Forget said.

“They learn different things in the 30-hour training on how to have conversations with people and how to listen to people who are navigating their end-of-life journey. So with that training … they are also trained here at the hospice, as well, before we send them out in the community.”

The program needs volunteers to visit clients and provide support and companionship to those who live in Greater Sudbury and outlying areas.

“We serve a pretty large geographical area,” Forget said.

“We can go as far as Levack out to Capreol, Estaire. So we are out there -- we go up to the French River, too.”

Forget said volunteers in the community program take part in an online 30-hour training session, screening and shadowing to prepare them for the role.

o    Download our app to get local alerts on your device

o    Get the latest local updates right to your inbox“Empathy is very, very important,” she said.

“We also ask our volunteers to have an open mind and to be non-judgemental, because when it comes to this point in a person’s life, they are very vulnerable.”

The hospice said it’s seeing an increase in referrals from people who need end-of-life care in their homes and they are hoping volunteers will step up to provide that support and companionship. 

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