Niagara Hospice will host a two-evening volunteer training session in late October. The organization is hoping to enlist more volunteers who want to work directly with hospice patients, according to Lisa Schmidt, volunteer services coordinator.

“Requests for friendly visits have grown and we hope to be able to pair volunteers with our patients in a way that is meaningful for both the patient and the volunteer,” she said.

Volunteer opportunities include companion visits, pet and music visits, providing transportation for shopping or medical visits, doing light housework or home repairs, and doing hairdressing. Veterans are being recruited to visit with hospice patients who are veterans. Volunteers also are needed to serve on the Vigil Team and assist fundraising and other events.

Schmidt said the organization’s most immediate needs are in the areas of home visits to patients in the Lockport, North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls areas, and certified pet visits.

“While visiting patients, volunteers may just talk, read the paper or a book to a patient, play cards or do other activities. They may also just provide a hand to hold while the family caregivers take a much deserved break,” Schmidt said.

Volunteer training will be held on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, from 5 to 9 p.m. each day, at the hospice campus, 4675 Sunset Drive. For an application and to register, call 280-0748 or go to www.NiagaraHospice.org.

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