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Hospice Volunteer Reflects on 'Special Time' at End of Life

Photo courtesy of Horizon Hospice and Home Care

Yesterday on our death and dying in the 21st Century series, we heard about a special group of volunteers who work with the Final Hours Program at Horizon Hospice and Home Care. In patients' homes and in the hospice's inpatient unit in Mequon, these volunteers sit with patients as they approach the last hours of their lives. The volunteers offer support to the patients and their families in what is a very difficult time...but what is the experience like for the volunteers?

To find out, we turned to Donna Bartolone, a volunteer who has worked at Horizon for more than two years and who has worked in hospice care for more than six. A former teacher and member of the Visiting Nurses Association, Bartolone says she prefers to work at in-patient hospice facilities because of the chance to have a hands-on impact. She tells Lake Effect's Stephanie Lecci that her hospice volunteering was inspired by her experiences visiting friends and family close to death.