elderly patients cared for by volunteer

Become a Companion Observer volunteer at Hawkesbury Hospital! St John of God Hawkesbury Hospital is relaunching its 2019 Companion Observer Program which provides companionship, and emotional & physical support to patients.


Positions are now available for new volunteers to take on this rewarding work, which assists ward staff in non-medical support of patients, particularly the elderly.

Companion Observer volunteers sit one-on-one with their assigned patients. They assist patients with personal care needs such as grooming, tidying up and attending to flowers. If you volunteer you might also assist some patients with meals by setting up meal trays, opening packages and encouraging patients to eat.

Companion Observers take patients for a walk where appropriate, or spend time reading to or chatting with patients, watching TV together and playing games.

A lovely, caring role for some volunteers is to provide companionship and comfort for end of life patients, especially those whose families are working or unable to be present during the day.

Volunteer Companion Observers need to be able to establish a good rapport with staff caregivers, patients and their families. And they must be very respectful of patient privacy. The minimum commitment is one 4 hour shift per week.

The Companion Observer program has been very successful in preventing disorientation and confusion of older patients, reducing falls and lifting the spirits of many patients, especially those who are lonely and isolated.

Volunteers find a great deal of enjoyment too. And you join a very friendly association of more than 100 volunteers who you will enjoy getting to know, along with the caring hospital staff.

One Companion Observer shared: “I love talking to the patients, sharing memories of the old days. Their faces light up when talking of the past. They have so many stories to tell…”

If you are interested in joining the Companion Observer program please contact Patricia Naylor on 0417 990 920. We look forward to hearing from you soon

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