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The volunteer’s role is to strengthen the ability of the ill person, and his/her family and friends to live as fully and as richly as possible.

Palliative care volunteers help provide:

  • comfort and support to people and families living with a life-limiting illness in the home, hospital, hospices, residential aged care facilities and palliative care units
  • contact with families through the time of bereavement

Volunteers may be involved in:

  • listening
  • providing emotional support
  • assisting at mealtimes
  • helping with transport/outings
  • respite care
  • maintaining contact with the family
  • bereavement support


Who is a palliative care volunteer?

A palliative care volunteer is a person who:

  • is 18 years or older
  • receives training and ongoing support
  • enjoys meeting people
  • is comfortable being with someone who has a life-limiting illness
  • is an important and integral part of the palliative care team
  • wants to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of those they visit
  • is non-judgmental

Recruitment, Selection & Responsibilities

  • Palliative Care Volunteer Coordinators recruit, screen and provide induction training for interested people.
  • Training covers listening skills, communication, loss & grief, self-care, understanding of life-limiting illnesses, the dying process and bereavement.
  • Volunteers are unpaid and give their time to provide a caring service for other people.
  • Despite their volunteer status, volunteers are members of the Palliative Care Team, bound by the same professional standards of ethics and privacy.

Where can I volunteer?

Volunteers work where palliative care is provided. Palliative care is provided, if possible, where the ill person wants to be. Therefore, you may like to volunteer at a hospital, hospice, and residential aged care facility or in the home. Volunteers are supported by the local Volunteer Manager/Coordinator.

How to become a volunteer?

If you would like to find more about becoming a palliative care volunteer please contact Palliative Care South Australia.