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Special month points to value of hospice care

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

My wife, Pam, was cared for by hospice during the last months of her illness, and I will be eternally grateful for the support and care they gave to both her and to me.

After she died, I realized that I wanted to pass on some of that love and support, so I became a hospice volunteer with Serenity Hospice and Home, the provider of her hospice care.

Hospice and palliative care combines quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing the end of life. Trained volunteers are essential members of the care team, and there are more than 155 Serenity Hospice and Home volunteers in our community, along with more than 458,000 volunteers throughout the country who bring comfort, love and respect to those in need.

When I arrive at someone’s home to provide a ramp or a helping hand, I feel good that I’m making time for others. But I get a lot out of it, too. I have met wonderful families; I’ve been privileged to hear fascinating stories; I’ve shared laughter and companionship at a time when those things are not always easy to find.

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, an important time to help others understand the important resource we have in our community. It’s never too early for a family to learn about the services that hospice can provide.

More information is available by calling 815-732-2499, or visiting www.serenityhospiceandhome.org on the Internet.

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