WATERVILLE — Long-time Hospice Volunteer Katharina Burdet was recently honored as Hospice Volunteer of the year by the Waterville Elks Lodge. Burdet was presented a plaque inscribed with “In Recognition of Your Dedication and Service to the Community,” according to a press release.

Burdet has volunteered for Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area for the past 14 years providing a variety of services. After attending hospice volunteer training, she provided non-medical services for “direct care” clients and gave much needed support to their caregivers. She later took the bereavement facilitator training and has co-facilitated several support groups over the years.

As a “Tender Care” volunteer, she sits with clients who are actively dying so that they are not alone during those last hours of their life. She provides Reiki and polarity sessions (energy work) to direct care clients and their caregivers, bereavement clients, volunteers and participants of Camp Ray of Hope a weekend retreat held in September for grieving families. She also finds time to teach a class for new volunteers on stress reduction and self care.

Since 2003, Katharina has volunteered as a Regional Volunteer Coordinator visiting clients in their homes in Belgrade, Oakland, Sidney and Rome. During these visits, she does an assessment of their needs for future volunteer placement.

When asked why she does hospice work and what she gets from volunteering, she said “I love my work as a hospice volunteer because so many clients I meet are truly inspiring to me. They show incredible courage, strength and resilience at an extremely difficult time in their lives. To see what family members are willing to do and sacrifices they are willing to make to keep their loved one at home amazes me.”

Burdet lives in Belgrade with her husband Rene. They have two children, Tobias and Simone and a granddaughter on the way. She worked at Inland Hospital for 15 years as an obstetrical nurse. Although she is retired from her full-time job, she continues to work as needed to provide bereavement support to families who have lost a baby or had a miscarriage.