The aim of the program is to enhance the emotional care and security of our hospital patients with dementia and delirium (or those at risk of delirium) and reduce their risk of adverse outcomes.
What type of patients do volunteers support?
- Patients with memory and thinking problems or who have dementia
- Patients who experience memory and thinking problems such as delirium as a result of their illness or operation
- Patients who have vision and hearing impairment
- Patients who require assistance with eating and drinking or who have special feeding requirements
- Other vulnerable older patients who would benefit from someone sitting with them one to one
What do the volunteers do?
The volunteer role provides similar support to that which would be provided by a family carer. In this way the program is also designed to support family carers when they are unable to be with their loved one.
Consent from the patient or their family is requested by staff before a volunteer can visit a patient.
The volunteer firstly gains an understanding of the patient’s background, family members, personal preferences and activities they enjoy using a personal profile.
The role of the volunteer includes:
- Sitting with a patient on a one to one basis
- Talking to the patient about current events and surroundings
- Assisting with making the patient comfortable to support their sleep and rest – this may include adjusting pillows or providing warm drinks or a hand or foot massage
- Making sure the patient is wearing their glasses and hearing aids and checking that these are clean and working properly
- Assisting the patient with eating and drinking and when needed regularly offering fluids to drink
- Assisting the patient with completion of their menus
- Accompanying the patient with walking as advised by the nurses or physiotherapist
- Supporting the patient with activities they enjoy such as reading to them, playing cards etc.
What is required to become a Hospital Volunteer?
All volunteers’ complete a formal application and recruitment process including Criminal Record Check and are bound by our Health District’s confidentiality requirements. Volunteers complete a tailored training program including buddy supporting with existing volunteers. Our Golden Angels wear a gold polo t-shirt, which is supplied by us and have health service name badge identification.
For more information, please contact Cath Bateman, Dementia Delirium Clinical Nurse Consultant on 64929677
There is also a brochure which explains the Person-centred Dementia and Delirium Volunteer Program, available for download.