Volunteer Manual

Volunteer Manual

The information in this handbook is assembled to acquaint you with Hillcrest Home.

Hillcrest Home, owned and operated by Henry County, provides around-the-clock care for people who can not care for themselves. We are licensed by the Department of Public Health and have 106 beds available for nursing home residents. The Annex, built in 1971, has beds for Skilled Care residents. A new and larger Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy area is located in the lower level of this addition.

Volunteer Services

The Activity/Social Service Director and Activity staff will be available to familiarize you with the policies and procedures of Hillcrest Home. You will also be oriented to the layout of the facility.

It is very important to sign in the volunteer registration at the front door of this facility when you first arrive. Also, be sure to sign out as you leave for the day. This is important in case of an emergency we will know immediately if you are in the building or not.

Volunteer Guidelines

  1. Be present and on time for every commitment you make. If you find yourself unable to meet an obligation, notify the Activity Director as far in advance as possible.
  2. Respect the rights of each and every resident. When you begin volunteering you will be given a booklet of resident rights. Please review them carefully. Remember to knock before entering a resident's room, and wait for the resident's reply.
  3. Upon entering a resident's room, remember to always introduce yourself. Never speak of or about the resident as if they were not there or could not understand.
  4. Show empathy for our residents, not sympathy. Empathy is the ability to relate to another and understand their feelings without condescension or over-involvement.
  5. Do live up to the responsibility of your volunteer role. Volunteer work is not something that can be done in a few odd hours when there is nothing more exciting to do. Rather, it is a responsibility that requires an allotment of time and energy.
  6. Be sure to respect the confidential aspects of your assignment and the dignity and privacy of the residents with whom you work.
  7. Do become involved, in a warm and natural manner with residents. Do not become over-involved. When in doubt, contact the Activity Director.
  8. Be optimistic about life in general and the resident's outlook in particular. Don't try to encourage unrealistic goals or attitudes.
  9. Be honest and genuine at all times. Be friendly and have fun yourself.
  10. Do not show partiality to one resident over another.
  11. Dress comfortably for your volunteer assignment. Be comfortable, neat, and well-groomed.
  12. Ask a staff member if there is something you are unsure of or do not understand. Be willing to accept supervision from the professional staff.
  13. Regard each resident as an individual. Do respect any cultural, ethnic, and personality differences.
  14. Use good judgment in accepting gifts from residents. If in doubt, contact the Social Service Director.
  15. Do not give food, candy, cigarettes, matches, or money to any resident without prior approval.
  16. Do not offer medical advice to residents.

Volunteer Smoking Policies

A smoking area is provided outdoors. Smoking is not permitted in the facility.

Volunteer Incident Reports

If you should have an accident while you are performing your duties as a volunteer, an Incident Report must be filled out immediately. There are Incident Reports at every nursing station. The Incident Report must be signed by the volunteer and any witnesses to the accident.

Fire Regulations & Disaster Alert Procedures

All volunteers should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations that are in the Emergency Procedures manual. A copy of this manual is kept at every nursing station and can also be found by asking a department supervisor. In the event of fire or disaster, you are to remain in the area that you are assigned. Volunteers will be asked to assist where needed.


Parking is available in any of the parking areas to the front and sides of the building. Do not park in spaces designated for handicapped.

Rehabilitation Services

The concept of extended nursing care in the state of Illinois has changed dramatically in recent years. Hillcrest Home can no longer be simply referred to as an "old folks home." Hillcrest Home is a long-term care facility offering nursing services, physical, occupational, speech rehabilitation, and therapeutic activities. The goal of these departments is to offer a resident the opportunity to increase their level of functioning.

Volunteer Assets

The following are assets that are important to have to be a quality volunteer:

  • It is important to like elderly people. Be aware of their value, not only in their past but also in the present. They can have a perception of the essence of life that cannot be gained from a younger or healthy stance.
  • It is important to be able to take illnesses for what they are. Illness is a misfortune, not a disaster. You must be able to look past the disagreeable aspects of "illness," but not ignore them.
  • It is important to be able to offer the gift of unhurried time.
  • It is important to share yourself. Your best assets are your own personal experiences. A willingness to share these is essential to help establish a bridge between the resident's world and your own.
  • It is important to have a sense of humor.
  • It is important to recognize the value of the nursing home for some people. It will be difficult for the residents in a nursing home to maintain a sense of dignity in their setting if they sense that they can see no possible good in it. Every circumstance has some good in it and some value to be discovered.
  • It is important to work with the staff at the nursing home. They count on your support and cooperation. When difficulties arise, there are ways of handling them that are beneficial to the resident and the home.
  • It is important to face our own aging. Aging is the process that we are all going through each moment. If we are able to face our own aging and mortality, we will be at ease when we witness it.

Wheelchair Safety Rules

Listed below are rules for working with and/or transporting wheelchair-bound residents. Please follow them for your own safety as well as the safety of the resident.

  1. Speak to the resident and make sure he knows you are going to "push" their wheelchair before you begin any movement. Never surprise a person by coming up from behind. Introduce yourself, if you feel they do not know you.
  2. Always lock the wheels when parking a wheelchair.
  3. Always lock the wheels when the resident is transferring or going to stand. Do not help a resident into Or out of the wheelchair unless you have been instructed by nursing staff to do so.
  4. If a resident is restrained, make sure he remains restrained.
  5. Enter and exit the elevator backward. Allow other people to get off before entering.
  6. Go slowly. There is a danger of running into other residents if you whiz down the hall. Do not cut corners.
  7. Keep resident's arms and hands within the chair - watch elbows when rounding a corner.
  8. Make sure residents' feet are securely on the pedals.
  9. Keep lap robes and other clothing items out of wheels.
  10. Never let the wheelchair roll down an incline by itself or push and let go of the wheelchair.
  11. Report unsafe or broken wheelchairs.
  12. Park empty wheelchairs so that doorways are never blocked.
  13. Park empty wheelchairs so that pedals do not stick out in doorways or halls where someone may bump into them and fall.
  14. Watch that urinary drainage tubing is not caught in the wheels.
  15. Let the resident know when you are leaving them.