Trained Hospice Volunteers

Help make a real difference.

Offer help like a friendly neighbor would.

Trained Hospice Volunteers are important members of the Hospice Care Team. Our hospice volunteers are members of the community who donate their time and offer compassionate support to our hospice patients and their families. Some have had a personal experience with hospice care; others simply want to give back to our community in a meaningful way.

VNA Health has a variety of Trained Hospice Volunteer opportunities.

Some of the ways our Trained Hospice Volunteers help include shopping or running errands, reading or letter writing, filling in to give family caregivers a break, or simply offering companionship and listening.

All of our volunteers are carefully screened and are required to complete volunteer training. An individualized, self-study training option is available.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Lucia Hererra at 805.690.6245 or email or Click here to apply online.

Volunteers are important members of the Hospice Care Team. They offer the kind of help a friendly neighbor would. VNA Health has a variety of volunteer options. Some of the ways our volunteers help hospice families include shopping or running errands, reading or letter writing, filling in to give family caregivers a break, or simply offering companionship and listening.

Volunteers visit a patient an average of once a week, for 2-4 hours (including driving time). The time commitment may fluctuate depending upon the patient’s needs and the volunteer’s availability. VNA Health also has a volunteer pet therapy program, a Veteran-to-Veteran program, and a flower delivery program. In addition, we have volunteers who support and assist our hospice patients and staff at VNA Health’s Serenity House. If you have a special skill or talent, we would love to find a way for you to share it!

Please see our Calendar of Events for dates and times for the spring and fall volunteer training programs.

If you would like to apply to the VNA Health hospice volunteer training program, please click on the link below. For more information, please contact Lucia Herrera at 805.690.6274 or

To apply, click here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Direct Patient Home Care
Volunteers are assigned to a patient and their caregivers to provide support and assistance, as would a friendly neighbor or helpful family member. These are usually hospice patients, but occasionally it is a home health patient. Some patients reside at home while others may live in one of the many residential facilities for seniors within our community.

Serenity House
Serenity House is our in-patient hospice facility, which is staffed with 24-hour nursing care. Trained Hospice Volunteers assist the Serenity House staff in three-hour shifts, primarily by visiting patients, greeting visitors, and working to support the overall needs of Serenity House. An additional three hours of onsite orientation is required to be a volunteer at Serenity House.

Vet-to-Vet Volunteers
Trained hospice volunteers who have served in the military can support patients who are Veterans in a unique way. Learn more about our Vet-to-Vet program here.

“Faithful Friends” Pet Therapy
A pet therapy program is provided by hospice volunteers with animals who have been officially certified as pet therapists. They visit patients who specifically request or would benefit from a “furry friend.”

Proudly Sponsored by:

Advanced Veterinary Specialists

Music Services
Hospice volunteers who are musicians have the opportunity to work with our certified music therapist to play music for a patient. This is a wonderful way to soothe and calm our patients.

“Bouquets of Love” Flower Delivery Program
We work in collaboration with The Dream Foundation to provide and deliver flowers to our patients and families. Flowers are picked up on Saturday morning at a designated downtown location. This type of community outreach is always welcomed. Sometimes a quick visit is made to a patient receiving the flowers.

Hospice Administrative Support
Clerical and special event duties could include filing, word processing, planning, telephone calls, assembling admit packets, or completing other administrative tasks.

NODA (No One Dies Alone)
This is a collaborative effort between VNA Health, Hospice of Santa Barbara, and several local residential facilities. Its purpose is to bring comfort and compassion to those in the last 48 to 72 hours of life who do not have family or other loved ones present. Active patient care volunteers with a minimum of six months of service are eligible to be part of this program in addition to their regular assignments. Additional training is required.

Application Process
All patient care volunteers are required to receive training on topics related to aging, disease, death and dying, compassionate communication, practical skills, psycho-social and spiritual dynamics, and loss and grief. Volunteers must complete the following requirements:

  • Fill out an online application
  • Complete an in-person interview
  • Provide us with two written personal or professional references
  • Complete a very minimal physical examination at our cost
  • Successfully pass a 2-part Tuberculin B skin test at our cost
  • Consent to a drug test at our cost
  • Consent to a criminal background check at our cost
  • Complete a 2.5-hour online training course and a 2.5-hour training class if having patient contact
  • Annual Flu Shot provided by VNA Health at our cost

If you have any questions about being a hospice volunteer, please contact Lucia Herrera at 805.690.6245 or Thank you for your interest in volunteering.