The volunteer team at Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) grew substantially on October 2, when 12 area residents graduated from a 16-hour training program that prepared them to be hospice volunteers.

Conducted by Lori O’Connor, Volunteer Manager at LSRVNA, along with several hospice staff participating as guest speakers, the training covered topics such as what is hospice, what does a hospice volunteer do, patient symptoms, boundaries, family dynamics, spirituality, bereavement and self-care. Each graduate received a certificate and pin and joined the group of more than 20 hospice volunteers already providing support and comfort to patients and families throughout LSRVNA’s 32-town service area.

“Volunteers are an integral part of our hospice team,” says O’Connor. “In addition to the nurses, therapists, medical social workers, home care aides and spiritual counselors that are available to hospice patients and their families, hospice volunteers are the ‘warm fuzzies’ that walk through the door to help make the last phase of life the best it can be,” she says. “Not every patient wants a volunteer, but we strive to make them available whenever a need arises.”

In addition to the initial training, hospice volunteers meet monthly for ongoing education and camaraderie. “We are extremely grateful to all our hospice volunteers for the time they dedicate to this important work,” says Jen Taylor, Hospice and Palliative Care Program Director at LSRVNA. “This is the largest volunteer class we have had, and we are excited that there is so much interest from community members wanting to join our team.”

For more information about hospice or volunteer opportunities, call 603-526-4077 or visit

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Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) celebrated 12 new hospice volunteer graduates at a ceremony on October 2. Front row from left: Jen Taylor, LSRVNA Hospice and Palliative Care Program Director, Pam Sanborn, Victoria Nedder, Andrea Wilson, Mary Liz Lynch, Helen Wickham, Margaret Wulff, and Lori O’Connor, LSRVNA Volunteer Manager. Back row from left: Deb Smith, Dereck Johnson, Richard Dwyer, Tom Connair, Catherine O’Brian and Brita Ek.