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Training sessions arranged for hospice volunteers in Sunnyside

A series of training classes will begin later this month for those wishing to volunteer with Lower Valley Hospice and Palliative Care.

Though based in Sunnyside, the hospice group serves patients in an area ranging from Yakima to the Tri-Cities.

For members of the Lower Valley Hospice and Palliative Care's interdisciplinary team, the number one priority is the patient and family.

Direct personal support by volunteers is an essential component of hospice care. Hospice depends on both professional and volunteer workers to fulfill its mission to provide comprehensive end-of-life care. It is widely recognized that volunteers provide the type of patient/family support that separates hospice from other types of health care.

"With this in mind, we have developed an educational program that will provide us with a pool of both competent and confident volunteers," said volunteer coordinator Carol Bos. "The training program provides an introduction to the hospice and the volunteer's role in the patient's care and comfort."

For those interested in making a difference by volunteering with hospice, a six to seven-week training course will be offered each Thusday at 6 p.m. from Oct. 18 to Thursday, Nov. 29. No training classes will be offered on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

The training sessions will be held at Lower Valley Hospice's office at 3920 Outlook Rd. in Sunnyside.

Patient care volunteers may provide companionship, provide respite for the primary caregiver, run errands, read, play cards, watch TV or just listen.

In addition, lay volunteers may provide office assistance, or help with special events and fundraising support.

For more information or to register for the training sessions call 837-1676 or e-mail carol@lowervalleyhospice.com.

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