Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hospice?
Hospice brings support and caring to patients and their families as they face the ordeals of terminal illness. In order to qualify for hospice, patients must have diagnosis of six months or less in which to live. Hospice care is an interdisciplinary team approach that treats the whole patient – their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Hospice is a service, not a place, and many patients are in their home, in an extended care facility, or in the hospital. Wherever they are, hospice neither shortens nor extends life but rather brings quality to whatever life remains.

What do Hospice volunteers do?
Volunteers are a vital part of Hospice and can help in many different ways. For example, volunteers can help by sitting with a patient, reading to them, talking with them, running an errand, or just lending an ear to a stressed caregiver. The most important thing is presence- just being there with patients and their loved ones makes a big difference. For those who may not want to visit with patients, there are also volunteer opportunities such as working at the office, at organized events, or playing in a concert.

What is SHOOP?
SHOOP helps Penn students become hospice volunteers. Penn Student Amit Mehrotra established SHOOP in 2001. Amit had received hospice training in high school, and recognized an opportunity on Penn’s campus. SHOOP helps students by coordinating volunteer training and helps with community outreaching bringing the message of hospice services available for all under their Medicare benefit. We are also the voice of hospice on campus, providing information on end of life issues.

What does SHOOP do?
SHOOP offers a variety of volunteer opportunities working with Wissahickon Hospice of Penn Home Care & Services.
- Patient Care Volunteers
- Special Event Volunteers
- SHOOP Gatherings

What is expected of a SHOOP volunteer?
After a volunteer is trained, participation is flexible. When volunteers are needed, each member can decide whether it is a good time for them to volunteer. When assigned a patient, Wissahickon hospice requests that you spend whatever time you can offer but no more than four hours a week including your travel time. We also request help from SHOOP members to promote the organization and help with related events.