MU Connect issue 5 (page 10)

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Home Health Watch programme trains volunteers to help patients fulfil 'final wishes'

The School of Nursing and Health Studies launched the Home Health Watch Health Volunteer Training Programme back in 2014 to train community health volunteers for organisations in support of the elderly, the chronically ill, people recovering from mental illnesses and people with disabilities. As it enters into its tenth anniversary, the programme adopts the theme of 'Final Wishes' this year, encouraging more people to step up as hospice volunteers.

The team especially designed a set of self-directed learning material as a systematic guide to communication and caring skills for hospice volunteers. In addition, a range of activities including talks, workshops and visits are being arranged to enhance participants' knowledge and understanding in critical topics such as palliative care, dying in place and green burial, helping them walk with patients in their final days with a positive attitude and appropriate skills.

The programme was kicked off on 25 February in a ceremony featuring an opening address by Dr Donald Li Kwok-tung, Chairman of the Elderly Commission, a keynote speech by Dr Edward Leung Man-fuk, President of the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology, and a public forum.