The Villages, Fla. (PRWEB) August 29, 2013
Ten years ago this month, the Villages Hospice House opened its doors and became a unique place in the Villages where patients facing life-limiting illness and their families could receive around-the-clock support in a home-like setting.
Since then, Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care has served more than 3,800 patients in the lakefront facility that has 12 private bedrooms and a Serenity Center for meditation and prayer.
Lady Lake resident Jesse Dilks has met many of those patients and families. After his wife had been cared for by hospice, the Village of Silver Lake resident began volunteering as a cook at The Villages Hospice House on day two of its opening.
“The chef makes all of the meals in advance and the volunteers prepare them for the patients,” says Dilks, who was a flight engineer by profession and never spent much time in the kitchen before his volunteering duties. “One time another volunteer and I made fried green tomatoes for a patient’s special request. He said they were really good.”
Dilks, who works two four-hour shifts every week, is one of 270 volunteers each month that support the doctors, certified nurses and nursing aides, social workers, chaplains, grief counselors and support staff who ensure the hospice patients and their families receive exceptional, compassionate care.
Cornerstone Hospice and The Villages Hospice House received a 2013 Hospice Honors recognition, a prestigious award recognizing hospice agencies providing the best patient care as rated by the patient’s caregiver.
“It has been our honor at Cornerstone to serve thousands of patients and families in The Villages, and we appreciate the tremendous support that we have received from the community over the past decade,” said Chuck Lee, CEO of Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care. “As the community grows, we will continue to align our services with its growing health care needs and we reaffirm our commitment to serving residents of The Villages for decades to come, whether at our hospice house, in health care facilities or in people’s homes.”
According to Lee, hospice volunteers are a vital part of the entire organization and have played active roles in providing the many special comforts and support services that distinguish hospice care. The Villages has been a great source of dedicated volunteers.
“Some people may think it is all gloom and doom being there but it’s not. The patients, families and hospice staff are among the most wonderful people I’ve ever associated with,” said Dilks. “I think I get more out of it than most of the people I am helping.”
About Cornerstone Hospice
Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., a not-for-profit, community organization since 1984, provides comfort and care to Central Florida families experiencing life-limiting illnesses. Over 5,000 people in Lake, Sumter, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties benefit from Cornerstone programs each year. Enhanced patient and family care is made possible through the generous support of individuals and groups. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, call 888-728-6234 or visit http://www.cornerstonehospice.org.