Mackenzie Health Volunteer Association
Font Size: A  A  A   | home | careers | contact us
  Twitter  Facebook   YouTube   Visit our Google+ Page

Volunteers - The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)


Hospital Elder Life Program

The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is an innovative, friendly visitor volunteer initiative designed to enhance the care of older adults while they are hospitalized.  It is easy for older persons to lose their bearings and experience a decline in mental and physical abilities while in hospital.  Research has demonstrated that these declines are often preventable.  HELP is a quality enhancement program whose mission is to prevent older patients from a decline in both their physical and mental/cognitive abilities during their hospital stay. Older patients find particular comfort in the assistance of well trained, calm, patient and caring lay people.  Under the direction and supervision of expert staff, specially trained volunteers can significantly prevent declines in both mental/cognitive and physical functioning.
The Mackenzie Health "Hospital Elder Life Program” 
Mackenzie Health "Hospital Elder Life Program” is looking for dedicated volunteers to join our team.  This is a position for volunteers who:
  • Enjoy and value assisting elders in need; 
  • Are reliable and committed to demonstrating excellence in this unique and innovative volunteer role; 
  • Are able to demonstrate compassionate caring attitudes and behaviours toward participants and families in the Program; 
  • Are able to commit to a minimum 16 hours of classroom and on unit training 
  • Are able to volunteer for at least 6 months, working at least one 3-hour shift per week (flexible morning and afternoon shifts available Monday-Sunday 10-1, 1-4, or 2-5 ).

Responsibilities include: 

  • Daily visits to patients who are enrolled in HELP to provide support and communication to assist patients to remain oriented to their environment; 
  • Engage patients therapeutic activities by providing bedside activities such as reminiscing/memory sharing, trivia games and current events; 
  • Assist in the early mobilization program by walking with active HELP patients
  • Provide assistance (open cartons, utensil packets, etc.) and companionship during meals.

Training and Orientation:


New volunteers will receive hospital orientation from Volunteer and Community Resources which will include training on confidentiality, infection control, basic wheelchair handling, safety codes and a tour of selected areas of the hospital. All HELP volunteers will  attend a half day HELP specific classroom training and 10 hours of on-unit training under the direction of the Elder Life Specialist/HELP coordinator.

if you are interested in volunteering, please submit an application with reference forms found here.
Click here for more information
Mackenzie Health / 10 Trench St. Richmond Hill, On. L4C 4Z3 / Richmond Hill Line: 905-883-1212 or Vaughan Line: 905-832-4554 / TTY Service: 905-883-2123