• Common Sense

  • Intelligence

  • Ability to evaluate situations, asses needs, make decisions and ask questions

  • Resourcefulness

  • Ability to meet crises

  • A good sense of timing

  • Tact

  • A good listener, able to tolerate repetition

  • A good talker

  • Likes people

  • Capacity to be nurturing

  • Compassion

  • Openness

  • Empathy

  • Objectivity

  • Sensitivity

  • Patience

  • Positive Approach to Life

  • Maturity

  • Level Headedness

  • Emotional Stability

  • Honesty

  • Nonjudgmental Attitude

  • Strong Stomach

  • Dependability

  • Neatness & Good Hygiene

  • Ability to Maintain Confidentiality

  • Flexibility

  • Availability

  • Commitment to the Program

  • Ability to work with a Team

  • Ability to accept Suggestions from Team Members

  • Sense of Self

  • Ability to keep personal problems out of hospice work

  • Strength from having survived loss/ not currently acutely grieving

  • Balanced Personal Life

  • Ability to Set Limits for Oneself

  • Ability to make contact and also to distance (able to handle loss of patients, to avoid rescuing, being caught in family differences, etc.)

  • Sustaining faith or philosophy, and is comfortable with that of others

  • A Sense of Humor

Becoming a Volunteer

Volunteer caregivers are drawn from the community-at-large, and are able to offer 4 hours of service a week when there is a resident at Tara Home. Joining the Tara Home volunteer community offers rewarding opportunities to serve in direct residential patient care.

Volunteers receive an initial training including hands-on care, emotional and spiritual needs of the terminally ill and an understanding of the dying process. Additional education is provided in monthly meetings. 

The Process:

  1.  Fill out an application form on this site.

  2. Contact Tara Home at (831) 588-5850‬ and leave a message that you are interested in learning more and include your name and phone number. You will be contacted by a Tara Home volunteer.

  3. You may have an evaluation interview with the one or two members of the Tara Home Volunteer/Training Committee. 

  4. You will provide 2 letters of reference (preferably one from your profession and a friend) – addressing your ‘fitness’ for this kind of service—for example, you might ask your letter writer to discuss your reliability, compassion, interpersonal skills; etc. These letters should be submitted by the end of the training.

  5. You will attend the training.

  6. You have an end-of-training discussion with a designated representative of Tara Home to determine your continued interest, to discuss any concerns you may have, receive any feedback or suggestions for your continued participation, and work out a schedule for your volunteer service. 

You should understand that at any point in the process, you or Tara Home may decide not to continue to pursue your status as a volunteer. More experience with dying might be needed; a person might need more time to process their own experiences with grief, etc. Issues may not surface until later in the process of becoming a Tara Home volunteer.

The Training

Prospective volunteers are required to attend the training to learn hospice philosophy, theory of palliative care, the Buddhist view of death and the process of dying; communication skills; maintaining appropriate boundaries; confidentiality requirements, and an understanding of the losses we undergo at the end of life. These topics are covered during 2 or 3 evening sessions and include an orientation of the physical setting of Tara Home. In addition, there is one all-day session in which we learn symptoms of pain management and practice elements of bed-side care. 

Monthly meetings are often scheduled and may take the form of caregiver support sessions, in-service trainings devoted to topics relevant to the current guest at Tara Home or trainings that address general patient care or general topics intended to foster greater capacity for care giving.

Trainings are ongoing 4-6 times per year. Materials donation: $25. Bring a lunch!

SEE - Policies and Procedures