Debbie Spielman's Story

Debbie Spielman cared for her husband at home when he was dying from stomach cancer and was really grateful for daily support from Hospice of Washington County. "I really relied on them. They were wonderful and I don't know how I would have made it without them,” Debbie remembers. 

After she retired, she wanted to volunteer and hospice was at the top of her list. Initially she made home visits as a companion, and now she primarily makes phone calls to family members. Debbie reaches out three weeks after a loved one has passed, offers condolences and helps connect family members to bereavement services if needed. 

Debbie says that many of the families she reaches out to are appreciative. She particularly remembers a widower who started to cry on the phone. "He said, 'I'm just so lonely, it's so nice that you're thinking of me.'" Another time, she spoke with a woman who said she was considering suicide. "Of course I connected her with services right away," she says. "I was just so glad that we reached out to her."

For these reasons and many more, Debbie is grateful to be a bridge to hospice services. "I've had a good many people take up the offer for for counseling and that makes me feel good because I know the bereavement care team here is just wonderful," she says.

When she isn’t volunteering, Debbie loves to spend time with her two daughters and their families. She has four grandchildren whom she loves dearly. They keep her busy going to hockey games and horse events. Debbie also loves reading, crocheting, spending time with girlfriends in her philanthropic service sorority and playing Rummikub.