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Marian Sanders

A life as an advocate leads to philanthropy
Resident’s gift improves end-of-life care at NewBridge

Dr. Marion Sanders is someone who cares for people.

All her life, in formal and informal ways, Marion has looked out for people in need of an advocate – in her career as a child psychologist, in an unofficial parenting role for children of a friend who passed away too young, and in the women she befriended at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center on the NewBridge on the Charles campus in Dedham (HRC-Dedham). Now, she’s caring for people through her philanthropy.

In June 2011, shortly after Marion moved to NewBridge, she heard that volunteers were needed in long-term care to help transport residents to weekly services. "I had no idea that my involvement in long-term care was going to become such a big part of my life here," she says.

Marion became especially close to two residents, Rhoda and Florence. The three women often played Rummikub together. Spending time in the long-term care household and seeing the women’s end-of-life experiences opened Marion’s eyes to the increasing need for palliative care services.

Last year Marion made a generous gift to Hebrew SeniorLife to establish the Alexander W. Sanders Fund, named in honor of her father, to support palliative care services and education. Part of the gift will come through Marion’s estate. Another portion of her gift led to the hiring of a palliative care specialist, a specially-trained resident assistant who not only provides direct care but also helps advance the skills of other resident assistants across HRC-Dedham.

"This is an important time in the growing movement behind palliative care,” Marion says. “It’s immensely gratifying to play a role in improving end-of-life care for residents and their families."