The Hospice Assist Program

Our non-medical, person-centered volunteer support program serves Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego County residents, free of charge. We offer sensible, social and respite support for people of all ages experiencing serious life-limiting illnesses themselves or a caregiver of someone in this situation. Our volunteers come to you, wherever you call home. 

Because or the unique support that we receive to fund our services, we are not bound to any restrictions regarding a certain ‘end of life’ timeframe or limited in our scope because you want to pursue curative treatment. We are here to support your journey by providing some of the nonmedical help you need. 

Though Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist does not provide medical assistance, our volunteers are available for up to four hours per week to help in the following areas: 

  • Socialization and companionship
  • Emotional support
  • Respite for family caregivers
  • Limited transportation 
  • Errands, meal preparation and other household tasks
  • Accompaniment on outings (for ambulatory clients)

Individuals with serious, life-limiting illness and their caregivers who live in the counties we serve qualify for our services and will likely benefit from extra support. If you or someone you love is experiencing the following, please give us a call:  

  • Individuals facing acute decline in functioning or progression of illness
  • Individuals pursuing curative treatment or receiving hospice services

Referrals from healthcare providers and other community agencies as well as individual inquiries are all accepted.

Our Programs

Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist (founded in 1982 as Charlevoix County Hospice and serving since 2002 as the nonmedical partner in Hospice of Northwest Michigan) provides compassionate social supports, without charge, in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego Counties. We support families and persons facing life-threatening illness and those experiencing grief. Our community and professional education programs increase awareness and action around end-of-life issues, advance care planning and grief. 

Reading a book together

Volunteer Assist Program

Our Volunteers Assist Program provides compassionate volunteers to serve people of all ages who have a serious illness and no reasonable prospect of recovery. Even if these individuals want to continue to receive curative treatment, our Volunteer Assist Program can offer help wherever the individual calls home. Weekly services can include companionship, assistance with household tasks, and limited transportation to appointments. Volunteer Assist provides a respite from caregiving for family members. Clients live in their own homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist does not provide medical services, but we supplement those services that may be in place by local medical hospices as well as those not on hospice services but who may be facing chronic and severe illness that has progressed to a point where supplemental help is needed. 

Adult Grief Assist Support Groups

Bereavement support groups enable people who have experienced the death of a loved one to share their stories, learn from one another and create support networks. Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist Spiritual Advisor and Bereavement Coordinator David Behling facilitates the groups. Groups are generally held monthly with several intensive “Journey Through Grief” weekly sessions planned throughout the year. Additional groups are formed based on community need.

Nurse taking care of senior man
sad son hugging his dad

Good Grief Assist for Children

Through conversations and activities, Good Grief help school children in grades K-12 explore their feelings, develop healthy coping strategies and find comfort in learning that they are not alone in their grief. These school-based seven-week support groups are facilitated by David Behling, Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist’s Spiritual Advisor and Bereavement Coordinator. Sessions occur at school during the school day in partnership with several area public schools. Monthly sessions after the initial seven-week session are also available.


Community Assist Education and Awareness

Our Community Education events increase knowledge and skills about loss, end-of-life, death and grieving. We host a educational talks primarily for community members; sponsor continuing education credit (CEU) workshops for health and human services professionals; and regularly speak to organizations on a variety of topics. Northwest Michigan Hospice Assist delivers specialized workshops on advance care planning, including how to talk with family and doctors about end-of-life options and desires and then how to complete an advance directive describing your end-of-life wishes and naming your health care agent.

Seniors making notes

Northwest Michigan Hospice Assists programs to provide compassionate support through illness and grief.