tHE volunteers' STUDY
Professor john ellershaw explains what the volunteers study is about
Professor John Ellershaw is the leading researcher for the Volunteers Study. He works in the Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool, linked to this city's university.
why volunteers are important
In the end-of-life process, not only physical symptoms need to be alleviated, but also emotional symptoms are a cause of suffering. We can say that dying is also a social process and the psychological distress it generates due to feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness and being a burden need special attention and sometimes cause real physical discomfort. In this sense the support of volunteers represents a very important and necessary community resource to improve the experience of the end of life, and of dying.
As part of the iLIVE project, we have set up a special training programme for volunteers to accompany patients and their families in the last month of life. This training is being carried out with special sensitivity in order to create a common training programme that draws on the extensive experience in palliative care volunteering that the participating countries already have. This common programme, which can be used anywhere, will be adapted, in each country, to the needs and characteristics of each country in order to achieve quality and well-trained volunteers to provide care in such a delicate phase of life and death.