Volunteers needed for hospice patients in New Albany

Volunteers do not need any specialized certification, just a willingness to help and listen

NEW ALBANY, MISS. (WCBI) – As the healthcare industry faces a staffing shortage, hospices are also adapting as volunteers are scarce.

Crissy Anderson is pursuing a medical assistant’s degree and she wanted to do something to help others. So she signed up as a hospice volunteer through Shepherd Hospice.

“This is an opportunity for me to go in and make someone’s day just a little brighter,” Anderson said.

New Albany based Shepherd Hospice needs volunteers who can spend at least one hour a month with clients.  Some clients are in their homes, and others are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

“Sometimes our volunteers can sit for the family member that might need a little break, need to get away, take a drive, go to lunch, go to the bank, do some tasks they need to focus on,” said Ron Cottom, chaplain for Shepherd Hospice.

There is a big need for hospice volunteers and you don’t need specialized medical training.  You just need a compassionate heart, and a willingness to serve and listen.

“We have patients that may not have family, so at end of life, we have volunteers who would love to be there and hold their hand, it gives them a deeper appreciation of life, and they give back to their community,” said Hazel West, volunteer coordinator for Shepherd Hospice.

Anderson has been a hospice volunteer for only about a month now, but she has had many blessings.

“Little things we take for granted, when we hear stories about their past, it opens your eyes a bit.  Seeing them smile and them knowing you’re there for them, gives you a new perspective,” Anderson said.

Volunteers can also make crafts for hospice clients, or donate items such as clothing, crossword puzzle books, and other games.

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