Palliative Care Volunteer Program

People being treated for serious illnesses or injuries—and their families—may face long hours in the hospital, which can feel lonely and isolating. Boredom is another source of stress for some people during long days in the hospital.

Palliative Care Volunteer Program volunteers assist the Palliative Care and our other clinical teams at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in striving to enhance quality of life for patients and their families.

A palliative care volunteer with a patient

Our volunteers visit during day and evening hours, including weekends whenever possible. Some of the extensive ways volunteers can help:

  • Visiting with patients, making phone calls or writing notes for them can help maintain a patient's connection to community
  • Reading to people who find it difficult to read themselves
  • Offering music CDs and players
  • Simply sitting by the bedside to offer reassurance to people who may be anxious, confused or agitated

The Palliative Care Volunteer Program is a branch of the Volunteers Program. Palliative Care Volunteer Program volunteers receive approximately 12 hours of specialized training. They are able to provide an extended presence of the teams of caring professionals within DHMC.

These volunteers generously contribute their time, effort, and a variety of skills and talents in a highly creative and individual fashion. They bring freshness and vitality to the Palliative Care Service interdisciplinary team.