How to Volunteer in a Nursing Home

Nursing Home Volunteer Duties

If you enjoy good conversations, playing cards, dancing, decorating, tidying up or being a shoulder to lean on, there's a nursing home volunteer position waiting for you.

  • As a bingo volunteer, you can call out numbers and help players find called numbers on their cards.
  • You can also give manicures -- glossy pink nails are a simple way to make someone feel young and pretty again. You don't have to be a professional manicurist or trim nails. All you need to do is apply nail polish and a bit of hand lotion.
  • If you enjoy tidying up, you can make beds and help keep residents' rooms and common areas clean.

When you work as a hospice volunteer (more on this later) your level of interaction with the patient and his or her family will be much more personal. As hospice patients and their families prepare to say their final goodbyes, volunteers are available to provide emotional support.

For many volunteering positions, it's beneficial to work with the same resident and build a relationship. But if your schedule is too full for another weekly obligation, that's OK -- there are other ways to get involved. For example, volunteers are also needed to put together mailings for residents' families.

See the next page for information on how to get started as a nursing home volunteer.