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Newton-Wellesley Hospital is seeking volunteers for a new program it will soon be introducing to help provide comfort and companionship for patients during end of life care.

No One Dies Alone is a program that trains volunteers to become “compassionate companions” who offer end of life presence and support to patients who are near the end of life. The program, first implemented at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, is now a model for compassionate end of life programs in hospitals across the country.

The No One Dies Alone program consists of a corps of trained volunteers who provide 24-hour availability to dying patients who do not wish to be alone. They also provide respite support to families who may also be at the patient’s bedside. During the vigil, companions may hold the hand of the patient, play soothing music, read to the patient and assist in other comfort care measures as requested by the patient or directed by the nurse. They serve patients in shifts, sitting at the bedside until the patient’s death.

Newton-Wellesley Hospital is currently recruiting volunteers to become compassionate companions and participate in the No One Dies Alone program soon to start at the hospital. Volunteers need to be over 22 years of age and must be at least one year past a significant loss. Volunteers will be required to complete the NWH volunteer on-boarding process (interview, health requirements, and orientation) as well as attend specific No One Dies Alone training.

The volunteer commitment is for one year. We anticipate that volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in up to three to four vigils per month.  Flexibility in scheduling will be necessary as the number of visits and hours will be unpredictable. Volunteers must have emotional maturity, warmth, sensitivity and good communication skills.Please visit www.nwh.org to fill out a volunteer application.  If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Office at 617-243-6048.

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