Programs & Services: Chatham-Kent

Programs & Services: Chatham-Kent

Supportive Care Volunteer Visiting

Supportive Care Volunteer Visiting

The Supportive Care Program also includes Hospice Palliative Care

  • It is the active, expert, gentle care and support of individuals living with a serious life-threatening illness. 
  • It is holistic in nature—caring for the "whole" person and his/her family.
  • It aims to support and improve quality of life for those living with a serious life–threatening condition and their families.
  • It includes the individual and his or her family in planning treatment and care, to enable them to make choices based on knowledge and understanding.
  • It supports family and friends through care giving and bereavement.
  • It offers social, emotional and spiritual support to individuals and families through members of an interdisciplinary team including physicians, nurses, social workers, home care nursing, home support, Geranium House staff and volunteers, and other disciplines.

Your Volunteer can be expected to do the following:

  • provide emotional support and companionship for you and your family
  • visit or care for you while your caregiver runs errands or simply and importantly takes a break
  • provide some degree of respite assistance for caregiver at home or in the hospital
  • provide encouragement and assistance with client interests and activities
  • assist with life story telling and legacy work

Your Volunteer will not:

  • provide professional care, render medical treatment, or attempt to transfer you
  • assist with or administer medication directly to you without consultation with program coordinator
  • do heavy housework or provide child care 
  • accept gifts or monetary remuneration-verbally expressing your appreciation or writing a note to VON Geranium House SupportiveCare about the volunteer is probably the best way to say thank you

Does the volunteer always come at a scheduled time?

Flexibility is the key to successful scheduling of visits. Visits can be scheduled at the same time each week or on an "as needed" basis that can be arranged between the family and the volunteer.

What if the volunteer is not a good match for us?

If, for any reason, you are not comfortable with the volunteer who has been assigned, please do not hesitate to contact the Program Coordinator, at 226-830-0802 and new arrangements will be made.

What if a problem or emergency occurs while the volunteer is visiting?

The volunteer has been instructed to call your emergency contacts or 911 if appropriate.

How long will the volunteer continue to provide support?

The volunteer will remain with you and your family throughout your illness, and for up to one year during the bereavement period. If, for any reason during the assignment, your volunteer becomes unavailable (illness, vacation, etc.) another volunteer may be assigned, if appropriate.

VON Geranium House Supportive Care Volunteers:

  • have a wide range of life experiences and skills that enable them to offer practical assistance and supportive care to meet the
  • special needs arising out of the physical, emotion, spiritual, social, and economic stresses which are experienced when living with a life threatening illness and during bereavement
  • provide support in individuals' homes; in the Palliative Care Unit at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance; in community care facilities; or
  • through one of VON's grief support programs
  • provide respite for caregivers
  • are trained to listen
  • have successfully completed the Supportive Care Volunteer Training Program (40 hours)
  • are committed to continuing education in the field of supportive and hospice palliative care
  • support individuals and families from all cultural and spiritual backgrounds in a compassionate and supportive manner
  • sign a pledge of confidentiality
  • undergo a police security check.

Who makes referrals and how?

Referrals can originate from healthcare professionals, community agencies, or family and friends. Call the program coordinator, at 226-830-0802 or fax information to our confidential fax at 519-352-2466. The person being referred must consent to the referral.

What happens after a referral is made?

You will receive a telephone call from a VON Geranium House staff member to complete the referral information and arrange for a visit in your home. Following the visit a supportive care volunteer may be assigned to you.


For more information please contact:

Kerry Beattie
Program Coordinator, Supportive Care Services
Office: 519-352-4462 ext. 5241 Confidential Fax: 519-352-2466