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Hospice Care Volunteer Donates Time, Support and Compassion

Having volunteered with Jansen Hospice & Palliative Care since 2006, Betsy Rapoport understands the importance and responsibility of spending a patients final months filled with family, friends and laughter.


When discussing Hospice Care, Volunteer Betsy Rapoport of White Plains says that there can sometimes be a misunderstanding involved.

Where most may look at the term "Hospice" as describing a facility where elderly men and women spend their final hours, that portrayal is simple untrue.

While many hospice facilities do exist, residents in Bronxville-Eastchester are now finding that Scarsdale based Lawrence Community Health Services and particularly Jansen Hospice & Palliative Care, are giving patients the ability to spend their time in the comfortable surroundings of their own home, among family and friends, with peace and dignity.

The non-profit has a number of volunteers like Rapoport, who serve as a vital resource to families and patients, who may be in need of not only support and compassion, but also in need of someone who can provide information during the final months of a patient's life.

"I'm so grateful that these patients get to spend their final hours on their own terms," stated Rapoport who continued that, "I am let into their lives for a short period of time and I always get so much out of it, learning who they are and the life that they have led."

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month and part of that awareness says Rapoport is an understanding that a patients needs can all be met, while still in the comfort of their own home and without having to leave that home to spend the remainder of their time in a unfamiliar surrounding.

"I always ask myself, can I make someone happier while spending time with them?" continued Rapoport, who decided to become a volunteer after she herself found the compassion and support from the hospice care program that her mother received back in 2005 before she died.

"I just wanted to give back and seeing what others did for my Mom really inspired me," remarked Rapoport who works by day as an editor and life coach.

Volunteers are currently needed at Jansen, where individuals can spend just a few hours a week with patients receiving hospice care and Rapoport says that any amount of time given makes all the difference in the world to those whose time is limited.

"You really get to know the patients you work with, whether it is through pictures, videos or even more likely, the conversations you will have with them," stated Rapoport.

"The other day I made a CD for one of my patients with all the hits from when they were a teenager and we sat and listened and had a great time," she continued.

If you think you may be interested in volunteering, you can visit Jansen Hospice Serivces' website at jansenhospice.org.

Also, to learn more about Lawrence Community Health Services, which provides not only hospice care, but bereavement and home health care, click here.

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Nadia Trimmer November 20, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care provides hospice services to patients and their families throughout all of Westchester County.To learn more about volunteer opportunities, you may call Didi Marcal, Jansen's volunteer coordinator, at 914.961.2818 ext. 1336. Jansen Hospice first opened its doors in its Tuckahoe location in 1983. The office home base moved to its new Scarsdale location this summer.


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