First manual for hospice volunteers published in Russia

The first manual for hospice volunteers has been published in Russia


The manual ‘Volunteers in Hospice Care’ has been published by the Vera Hospice charity. It is based on the foundation’s many years of experience. In 2020 there are more than 60 hospices, 560 palliative care units and 660 nursing homes caring for terminally ill people in Russia. However, volunteers are rare, because managers of these medical facilities do not know how to get them involved.

The manual contains answers to questions such as: what do volunteers do in a hospice, and how do their tasks differ from those of a nurse? How do you attract and organise volunteer working? How do you retain volunteers, and make sure they are working legally? The director of the foundation, Anna Skorobogatova, notes in the foreword to the manual that when in March this year, due to the pandemic, volunteers were banned from visiting hospices for the safety of patients and doctors, everyone immediately felt ‘how empty and quiet the hospices were, and how bored the patients were’.

‘The doctors and nurses did not have the capacity to give each patient the same level of care. They had too much work to create a homely feeling in the hospice. This again confirms the need for volunteers in every institution, not just those in Moscow but also elsewhere in Russia’.

The manual will primarly be used in medical and social care institutions, but it will also be useful to small NGOs and charities that have not yet had the opportunity to work with volunteers. Anna Skorobogatova explains that the recommendations cannot be seen to be finite, but as a basis for developing one’s own system for working with volunteers.

The guide for ‘Volunteers in Hospice Care’ can be downloaded from the ‘Pro Palliative’ website. The foundation can provide a printed version on request.


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