Vigil Program

The goal of the Fidelis Hospice Vigil Program is to ensure that no one dies alone. Many individuals and their families fear being alone as death nears. Fidelis strives to provide them with companionship and support. Our staff and Volunteers consider it an honor and privilege to participate in a vigil. They have been specially trained to sit vigil and to be present with an individual as they transition from life to death. The program is also designed to provide companionship for individuals during their last hours of life who would otherwise be without family or friends.

Our first effort when death is imminent is to encourage and support the family and to be present at time of death. By educating and preparing them for the physical symptoms and supporting them emotionally,we can empower them to comfort their loved one until death occurs. When family and/or friends are not available, Fidelis Volunteers and staff provide human contact so that death is not a solitary experience.

The Fidelis Vigil Program is primarily supported by its Volunteers although many Fidelis staff members also offer their time. Through their presence, the Volunteer helps as the individual transitions from life to death. The Volunteer provides companionship for both the individual and their family and friends. The trained Volunteer is able to help by their very presence. Their duties include providing support by helping to create a quiet, supportive, and peaceful space for the individual and their family. If desired, they can provide gentle touch through handholding, lightly wiping the brow, and otherwise providing comforting and calm reassurance. Quiet and gentle reading of favorite stories,prayers, scripture, or music is also often helpful.

The Vigil Volunteer will also communicate with the clinical team if there is any observable discomfort or change in status. At the time of death, the Volunteer will also be able to help with the immediate consoling of the family and friends who are present with the start of grief support. Additional support as needed by the family may also be provided by the Volunteer at this time.

  • “Our position with the individual and family is simple. I’m here for you. I will keep you company and make you as comfortable as possible as you start your journey.”

    - Sherry Martin, Vigil Volunteer

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