West Allis — Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon declared the first National Volunteer Week to recognize Americans who give of their time and talents to benefit others. This was the same year, 1974, that the Connecticut Hospice – one of the first hospices in the country – opened its doors changing the way dying persons were cared for in the U.S.
During National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care is honoring its dedicated volunteers who provide support, companionship and dignity to members of the community facing serious and life-limiting illness.
“Hospice care began as a grassroots volunteer-driven movement in this country 40 years ago and without volunteers, we could not do the work we have been doing at Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care since 2003,” said Wendy Hockett, Executive Director.
Hospice volunteers often serve patients and families at the bedside but they also assist in the office, help raise awareness, contribute to educational programs, and provide fundraising support and more.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that there are an estimated 400,000 trained hospice volunteers providing more than 19 million hours of service to hospice programs each year. An estimated 1.6 million patients in the U.S. are cared for by hospice every year.
Hospice and palliative care volunteers help the people they serve live every moment of life to the fullest and enable the organizations they work with to achieve their mission in the community. Most hospice volunteers choose to give their time helping others because of their own experience with the compassionate care hospice provided to a dying loved one.
It is federally mandated under Medicare that five percent of all patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers, reflecting the vital role that volunteers play in the provision of care.
For those interested in learning more about hospice or volunteer opportunities, please visit www.seasons.org and/or contact the Volunteer Department at Seasons, 414-203-8310.
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