Support Is Never Far Away Palliative Care Volunteers Are a Valuable Source

Article excerpt

Byline: emmapritchard

IT takes a lot of selfless dedication and enthusiasm to become a volunteer, and the rewards don't go anywhere near your bank account.

But in many instances, they do go close to your heart.

Especially when you're a palliative care volunteer.

Since 2004 the Clarence Valley Palliative Care Volunteer Support Service has been offering a community support system to help families cope during the illness and death of a loved one and overcome their heartfelt grief and bereavement.

Palliative care is the active care of patients whose illness is not responsive to curative treatment. The goal is to achieve the best possible quality of life for them and their families.

Care is delivered through co-ordinated medical, nursing and allied health services that are provided, where possible, in the environment of the person's choice.

Currently, there are 20 dedicated volunteers in the service across the Clarence Valley.

They aim to support the family in dealing with practical and emotional burdens.

They accompany clients on outings and recreational activities, assist with feeding and care, transport patients to and from appointments, prepare light meals, run errands and offer compassion, comfort and companionship.

Libby Shearer, from Community Programs, describes palliative care volunteers as an C[pounds sterling]in-

valuable source.C[yen]

C[pounds sterling]Palliative volunteers are very important,C[yen] Libby said.

C[pounds sterling]They are part of the support that allows clients to stay at home for as long as they and their family would like, which sometimes means that they are able to die in their own home in familiar surroundings.

C[pounds sterling]All of the volunteers at

Clarence Valley Palliative Care Volunteer Support Service say it's a great privilege to be invited into the client's and the family's lives at such a point in time. …


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