November is National Hospice Month, a time to raise awareness about the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care provides to more than 1.58 million people with life-limiting illnesses each year. And at the heart of the hospice care model are volunteers. Hjalmer Lindberg is one of these dedicated volunteers for HCI Hospice Care Services-Centerville and has been recognized for his contributions by the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa.
“As a Navy veteran, Hjalmer is an outstanding veteran volunteer to many of our patients and families, providing companionship, yard work and as a trained bereavement volunteer,” said local HCI Hospice Care Services volunteer coordinator Lisa Oglesby. “He has traveled many miles to serve our veteran patients, and we thank him for his dedication to all of our patients and their families.”
Like many, Lindberg was inspired to volunteer after personally experiencing loss when his daughter died as a child.
“I like to help others experiencing grief since I experienced it firsthand,” Lindberg said. “I came from a family who liked to help others.”
Lindberg was a member of the Naval Reserve in the Korean War and joined HCI Hospice Care Services (formerly Hospice of Central Iowa) last year to assist with the organization’s Veteran-to-Veteran program. The program matches volunteers with military experience with hospice patients who are also veterans. Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers provide companionship while talking, reading and sitting with patients, helping them come to terms with past events and find peace.
HCI Hospice Care Services is seeking more volunteers like Lindberg. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Lisa Oglesby at (641) 856-5502 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Offering companionship, running errands and assisting with clerical duties are some of the other volunteer opportunities available through HCI Hospice Care Services.