Hospice Volunteer Receives Senior Citizen of the Year Award
Dr. Norm Jacobs is recognized for his innovation and dedication to the community

By Daniella Elghanayan | published on 06.16.2009


In recognition of his outstanding community involvement, Dr. Norm Jacobs was awarded Senior Citizen of the Year by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens-Area Agency on Aging and the AARP at its 25th annual Living Today for a Better Tomorrow luncheon on May 28.

Jacobs is a retired psychotherapist and had a practice for more than 35 years. For the past seven years, he has been an active patient-care volunteer at Hospice of Santa Barbara, helping patients facing end-of-life.

“Norm is caring, innovative and perseverant,” said Dana VanderMey, program manager of volunteers at Hospice of Santa Barbara, who nominated Jacobs for the award. “He is not afraid to go where others fear to tread, and we are so proud of all he does for our community.”

Jacobs helped organize the Laughter Program, a collaborative effort between Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. and the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara. This collaboration is the only laughter-for-wellness program currently operating in our community, offering an opportunity to reap the benefits of humor. Jacobs often assists in leading the laughter workshops, which provide anyone facing a life-threatening illness, those receiving or recovering from treatment, and family caregivers an opportunity to escape and enjoy an evening of the best medicine: laughter.

He is dedicated to community involvement and has served on the boards of many community organizations, mostly those related to the psychological issues that concern senior citizens. As a Life Reminiscence Volunteer at Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc., Jacobs is trained to listen to and record people’s life stories.

VanderMey presented Jacobs with the award on June 15th at a laughter workshop at the Cancer Center. He was out of the country at the time of the May luncheon, when the award was given.

The mission of Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. is to provide care to anyone experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. For more information, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

Daniella Elghanayan is a publicist.