Get Involved with Hospice Austin
Hospice Austin is a non-profit organization that serves terminally ill and bereaved persons in our community with integrity, compassion and respect.
Who We Are:
Hospice Austin patients and families have the assurance that they are being served by one of the oldest and largest hospice programs in Texas and the only not-for-profit hospice in Austin. Patients are eligible for hospice care if they have a life expectancy of six months or less. Our service area includes Travis, Williamson, Caldwell, Hays and Bastrop counties. We provide family-centered, quality end-of-life care offering a full range of health care services such as medical and nursing care, spiritual and emotional support, social work, personal care, special therapies, volunteer and bereavement services. Hospice Austin is committed to relieving physical, emotional and spiritual pain so that life can be experienced as fully and hopefully as possible.
Our services are designed to improve comfort, manage symptoms and deal with other difficulties such as emotional distress and grief. Hospice Austin also provides important emotional and spiritual support to families and friends as they cope with caring for a loved one with an advanced illness, and the grief they experience after their loved one dies.
In addition to comprehensive hospice care, Hospice Austin sponsors the only transitional end-of-life program in Central Texas. Support Source is a free, community-wide program for people with a life expectancy of two years or less. Support Source was established in an effort to provide social and emotional support, as well as information and referral services to those who are not ready for hospice care. Clients may still seek curative treatment and their healthcare choices are supported. Services are provided by the Support Source Program Coordinator in conjunction with trained Support Source volunteers. There are no fees for Support Source services because of the generous support of the community and Hospice Austin.
Patient Care Volunteers receive extensive training in order to offer support and assistance to patients and families by visiting patients at their place of residence, in their own homes, in assisted living or nursing facilities and in group homes. This may include sitting with the patient to allow the family time away, providing companionship, offering non-medical assistance, having a sympathetic ear and using one’s natural talents to enhance the quality of life for the patient and family. Acupuncture, massage and hair styling professional also help serve our patient’s needs.
Volunteers for Hospice Austin’s Christopher House perform the same duties as Patient Care Volunteers but they perform their duties at our 15 bed acute care inpatient facility. Volunteer duties include providing tours, greeting visitors and families, helping patients with food and drink, walking or wheeling patients, reading to or writing notes for patients, arranging flowers for patient rooms, providing therapeutic pet visits and many other interactive activities. Volunteers enjoy conversation as well as quiet time with patients and families.
Office Volunteers provide help in administrative or clerical capacities. There are many opportunities such as filing, data entry, assistance with special events and mailings, or help with IDT (Interdisciplinary Team) meetings. Attending health fairs and assistance with fundraising events including promotion and awareness of the presence of Hospice Austin in the community are also provided by volunteers.
Bereavement Volunteers offer support to bereaved family members, usually over the telephone, and work in close contact with the Bereavement Department. Volunteers may also assist with support groups and Camp Brave Heart, Hospice Austin’s free community-wide summer camp for bereaved children.
Food Pantry Volunteers help organize, stock and maintain donations for patient/families in need. Donations of non-perishable items are always accepted and appreciated.
Support Source Volunteers perform similar duties as Patient Care Volunteers. Clients in Support Source are not quite ready for hospice care but may still need resources and help with respite care, companionship, socialization, running errands, etc. Support Source families often remark that their volunteers provide a great source of comfort during this difficult and sometimes overwhelming transitional time.
New volunteers are required to attend volunteer training, especially those that want to provide patient/family support. Training is offered twice a year, in February and September.
For more information: Visit www.hospiceaustin.org
Please direct inquiries to: Gayle Smith
Phone: (512) 342-4735