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Douglas County Hospice volunteers helping more families

National Volunteer Week is April 19 through 25 and Douglas County Hospice is honoring its hospice care volunteers who bring hope, dignity and love to those facing a life-limiting illness.

Hospice care volunteers make sure that the people they care for and their families find hope within each day, have their dignity preserved, and are surrounded by love, even at the final moments of life.

Douglas County Hospice has provided the kind of high-quality care that patients and families want and the families it serves are more than willing to recommend the services to others.

Last year, more than 170 patients and their family caregivers chose the end-of-life care found through Douglas County Hospice. This is a growth of 24 percent over 2007.

Douglas County Hospice has more than 24 volunteers that help care for patients and families in this community.

"Hospice volunteers are a valuable component of the compassionate care that Douglas County Hospice offers to people in our community," said Douglas County Hospice coordinator Sue Quist. "Volunteers bring hope, love and dignity to families who are going through one of life's most difficult times. As our country again turns its focus to service, we are pleased that we have this opportunity to honor our hospice care volunteers."

Awareness of the hospice program among the community and medical professionals is important to help ensure that patients and their families have the end-of-life care options that will bring them comfort, Quist said.

Douglas County Hospice is a non-profit organization located in Alexandria. It has provided care for terminally ill patients and support for their family members since 1983.

The goal of hospice is to improve the quality of the patient's days and weeks of life by offering comfort and dignity.

Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the person's needs and wishes.

For more information, call (320) 763-6018.