Letters to the Editor

We welcome letters to the Editor, a chance for members of the community to comment on issues of concern to them. All letters must be original, not duplications of letters addressed to public officials or written by others. The views and opinions expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication, its publishers, Editor, or staff.

To the Editor:
April was Volunteer Appreciation Month, and I want to attest to the incredible impact that caring volunteers make in the lives of others in our community. Compassus is an organization that cares for individuals experiencing life-limiting illnesses, and the kind words, warm smiles, and other efforts of the volunteers who generously give their time to bring comfort to others is something we should all take time to recognize and celebrate.
Volunteers are an essential extension of the Compassus hospice care team. From directly interacting with patients and families to working with care team members behind the scenes to help operations run smoothly, they provide a vital service. The nationwide impact of hospice volunteers is just as significant. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association, volunteers care for more than 1.5 million hospice patients each year, totaling millions of hours of care annually.
This month and every month, we are thankful for volunteers. Please join us in showing gratitude for the people who give of themselves to improve the lives of patients, families, teammates, and our community. We are grateful to have their support and proud to recognize their efforts.
If you’re interested in becoming a hospice volunteer, please call our office at 1.800.234.3542 to learn more about this rewarding role.

Mary Ellen Kaminski
Volunteer Coordinator, Compassus
Arbor Vitae and Rhinelander, Wis.
(Serving all of Lincoln County)

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Town of Russell First Responders for taking such good care of us and for giving Rusty a helicopter. He always wants a helicopter ride when he has a problem, but having one he can hold is good, too. He loves it.
Rusty has Autism and doesn’t always react to stress the right way. The First Responders have been very kind and patient with him, and he thinks of them as his friends. Thank you!

Sandy Tank
Gleason, Wis.

To the Editor:
Volunteer Ombudsman Program reaches 30-year milestone

Did you know that right here in our community, your friends and neighbors have been making a difference in the lives of older adults for the past 30 years? 2024 marks 30 years the Volunteer Ombudsman Program (VOP) has been making a difference in the lives of residents, one visit at a time.
These friends and neighbors, Volunteer Ombudsmen, are caring and concerned individuals with a passion for helping older adults in long-term care settings, promoting and protecting the rights of people 60 years and older who reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities within their community, by making unannounced visits to designated nursing homes and assisted living communities on a weekly basis. They empower, educate, and support residents. They build trusting relationships so residents feel comfortable sharing their concerns.
Volunteer Ombudsman, Mary, shares about her experience:
“My visits with the residents in my facility have given me so much joy. We have many interesting conversations, but at the same time, I remember I have my Volunteer Ombudsman cap on so I can be an advocate for them if needed. To me, it is very important that residents have a voice, that they feel empowered to speak up. It’s important they have someone they can count on to help them, whether for assistance in a matter important to them, or just a conversation.”
To make a difference in the lives of elders in your community, email: [email protected] or call 1.800.815.0015.

Mary LeMay, MA, Volunteer Coordinator, Serving Clark, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Taylor, Waupaca, and Wood counties.
State of Wisconsin – Board on Aging & Long Term Care, Ombudsman Program

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