Palliative Care Services

May 2022

Help us make a difference

Join our 250 volunteers across Durham Region and bring comfort and a smile to someone in your community.

See volunteer opportunities

Hospice Palliative Care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for persons who are living with or dying from a life-limiting illness or are bereaved.

The goal of Hospice Palliative Care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with illness as well as the best care and support for families.

Our Hospice Palliative Care Services provide emotional, social, and spiritual support to individuals and families facing a life-limiting diagnosis and advanced illness. We offer one-on-one visits, support for clients and/or caregivers, a Caregivers Drop-In Group, and a Day Hospice Program. Our staff and trained volunteers work in partnership with community health care professionals and other service providers in an effort to enhance the quality of client care.

Our VON Durham Hospice Palliative Care volunteers are rigorously screened and complete the “Fundamentals of Hospice Palliative Care” training program. Volunteers reflect Durham Region’s diverse population.

Palliative Volunteer Support

Our trained volunteers provide many types of support depending on a person’s needs, some of which include companionship, practical assistance, as well as emotional and spiritual support for people going through a palliative experience. 

One-to-One Support

Trained, compassionate volunteers are matched with clients based on common personality traits, life experiences, cultural background, availability, and proximity. Each volunteer is matched with the same clients for up to 4 hours per week. The volunteer role varies depending on the wishes of the client and may include: companionship, legacy work (example: scrapbooking or memory books), practical assistance, emotional and spiritual support, complimentary therapies, practical assistance, driving for appointments, errands and caregiver relief.  

Day Hospice

Day Hospice is a program run by staff and volunteers. It is a full day of activities, including lunch and snacks. This program offers social interaction, peer support and companionship in a group setting for clients who can manage their own care, are cognitively alert, and whose mobility require little-to-no assistance. Day Hospice provides caregivers with some respite time and an opportunity for them to gather and have a space where they can share and receive support. Day Hospice is offered at no cost and transportation assistance is available.

Caregiver Support

VON Durham is aware of the stress and anxiety many people experience while caring for a loved one living with a life-limiting illness. In many cases, the caregiver provides 24 hour/7 days-a-week care and support. It is not uncommon for many caregivers to put their own well-being aside while they struggle to come to terms with the loss they may soon face. They may have feelings of being overwhelmed, frightened, helpless, exhausted, numb, sad, or angry. These feelings are normal and VON Durham strives to provide caregivers with support during this time through telephone support from our Palliative Care Coordinators, one-to-one matches with a volunteer, respite care, Day Hospice program.

A drop-in Caregiver Support Group run based on need and/or interest. This group offers caregivers an opportunity to attend to their own well-being by giving them the tools to support their loved one, a safe place to share their feelings, and skills to attend to their own needs.  

© 2019 Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada, Ontario Branch - Durham Site
Charitable Number: 119 284 453 RR0001