As a hospice caretaker of two years, I would like to speak to the way this work is so often presented in such a dim and negative way by the press (“Home care gives hope to seniors and low pay to workers,” April 27).

Thanks to the per diem nature of hospice care, I am free to accept or decline a client according to my preferences for hours, driving distance and the skill level involved. I greatly value this flexibility, which allows me to do a job I love without conflicting with other aspects of my life.

The needs I serve are as varied as the clients themselves and range from companionship to helping ease the dying in their last days. Mostly, though, I provide support for daily living activities and personal care.

Every assignment is an adventure for me, a chance to interact with a wide diversity of people, many who have lived extraordinary lives or through extraordinary times. Everybody has a story, and all of them are inspiring.

I also witness people dealing with their disabilities with dignity, humor and courage, and am reminded that growing old gracefully has nothing to do with looking as young as possible for as long as possible.

It is unfortunate that hospice work is mainly perceived as drudgery, suitable for those with less education and fewer skills – ironically, the very population who can least afford to work as a caretaker at its present pay level.

My hope is that everyone, including those who don’t necessarily need the money, would consider working even just a couple of hours a week as a hospice provider, thereby serving both a need and benefiting themselves with all the rich and varied satisfactions that are part of the hospice world.

Zoe Goody

Cape Elizabeth