During National Volunteer Week in April Snowline Hospice honored its core of dedicated volunteers who provide support, companionship and dignity to members of the community facing serious and life-limiting illness.
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“We could not do the work we do without the gifts of time and talent from our hospice volunteers who support our organization and walk with patients and families during the journey at life’s end. Without our volunteers our care and services could never be the same. They, each and every one of them, make a difference,” said Michael Schmidt, executive director of Snowline Hospice.
“Here in our community, 395 volunteers provide 60,354 hours per year to help Snowline Hospice care for their fellow community members. Whether a volunteer is serving at the bedside, working in a thrift store, helping out in the office, raising awareness or providing support with fundraising, volunteers are at the heart of hospice and palliative care,” Schmidt added.
More than 85 percent of the work done in Snowline Hospice’s thrift stores is done by generous volunteers. Some commit to 40 hours a week.
It is federally mandated under Medicare that 5 percent of all patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers. This regulation reflects the vital role that volunteers play in the hospice philosophy of care and ensures that a hospice program has roots deep in the community.
“Snowline Hospice is proud that the community supports us by going above and beyond the federal 5 percent requirement. Over 33 percent of our patient care hours are matched by Snowline’s in home care volunteers,” Schmidt said.
Twenty nine Snowline Hospice volunteers have been volunteering for 15 years. Eight of their volunteers have been volunteering for 20 years. One is in her 25 year of helping Snowline Hospice.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that there are an estimated 450,000 hospice volunteers providing more than 21 million hours of service to hospice programs each year.
More than 1.65 million patients in the U.S. are cared for by hospice every year.
For those interested in learning more about hospice or volunteer opportunities visit SnowlineHospice.org or call 530-621-7820.