National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize the caring individuals that give of their time and talents to organizations and causes that rely on the gift of service. Of particular note would be America’s hospice volunteers who support patients and family coping with serious and life-limiting illness.
Many hospice volunteers are inspired to help others and support hospice because of their own experiences with the compassionate care hospice provided to a dying loved one. Many who are unfamiliar with hospice care assume that this volunteer work would be taking place in a setting of gloom and despair. Hospice volunteers tell a different story-how the time that they spend with those who need it most can be filled with hope, dignity, and love.
Hospice care in the U.S. originally began as a grassroots, volunteer led movement to help bring comfort and dignity to the dying. Now, hospice is an integral part of the American healthcare landscape that cares for more than 1.65 million patients annually.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that there are an estimated 458,000 trained volunteers giving 21 million hours of service every year to hospice and palliative care programs. Volunteers remain an integral part of hospice care.
Whether a volunteer is serving at the bedside, helping out in the office, raising awareness or providing support with fundraising, volunteers are at the heart of hospice and palliative care.
You can learn more about hospice by contacting Hospice of the Bluegrass Cynthiana Office at 234-6462 or at www.hospicebg.org.
During National Volunteer Week, take time to learn more about volunteering opportunities in your community and ways you can support the important work being done by your local hospices.