News & Press

Hospice volunteers spread joy to special group

4/14/2011 - Elgin, Illinois - Elgin, Illinois - Fouzia Fatima has already noticed a difference in the three weeks she's been visiting Day Beckman. Beckman’s dementia keeps her from remembering Fatima’s name, but the smile on her face when Fatima visits tells its own story.

“You better come back to see me,” Beckman, 97, said at the end of a recent visit.

Fatima visits Beckman, a hospice patient, for a few hours each week. Usually, the women watch passersby through the window and talk about their families.

Beckman’s condition hits close to home for Fatima. Her own father was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago, and while his memories are fading away, he still enjoys the company and conversation of friends and family.

“That’s what I try to do with Day,” Fatima said. “I hope I’m making a difference.”

Fatima is a member of the Passages Hospice volunteer program, one of many providing compassionate care to terminally ill patients and their families throughout Illinois.

Volunteers can choose from a range of positions, either working directly with patients or in an office setting. Direct care volunteers may play cards, go for a walk, or simply sit and talk with patients. Administrative volunteers may help with office duties like completing phone calls or data entry.

Passages is currently holding training sessions for new volunteers of all ages and talents. Volunteers can be individuals or groups, and those with musical talents or pets are welcome to share their unique gifts. Volunteers are have a flexible time commitment and are supported through a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator.

“I try to let me know I’m there for her,” Fatima said. “It’s a special visit just for her.”

As her visits with Beckman continue, Fatima hopes to one day bring her children to visit.

“I want to teach my kids that there’s so much more out there than themselves,” Fatima said.

“It’s important to be a part of something bigger.”

To inquire about volunteering with Passages Hospice, please contact Trish Thein at 630-945-2172 or More information is available at