Ontario Training More Volunteers to Support End-of-Life and Palliative Care at Home

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario is recruiting and training more volunteers across the province to support palliative and end-of-life care at home, providing comfort and help to patients, families and caregivers during difficult times.

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Visiting hospice volunteers go to the homes of patients who are at the end of their lives or suffering from a life-threatening illness to help provide comfort, run errands and help coordinate other types of care. They also may provide bereavement support for families and caregivers and alleviate some of the stress and caregiving responsibilities they face during an often-difficult period.

Hospice Care Ottawa has 83 in-home support volunteers who provided 4,148 hours of volunteer time to clients in the community in 2015-16. Hospice Care Ottawa has recently expanded its volunteer visiting program with the opening of Maison de l'Est, which has so far trained eight volunteers to provide service to the francophone community in Ottawa.

Increasing the number of volunteers reflects feedback heard during province-wide consultations, where families and caregivers asked for more help at home, particularly with respite and bereavement services.