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After the Holidays, Your Time and Talent is Needed More Than Ever

two women looking toward cameraThe holidays are a bustling time filled with parties, presents, and visiting with family. But the post-holiday season can be a difficult time for many seniors who have no close family members or whose family has returned home. Seniors and people with disabilities living in rest homes and nursing homes benefit greatly from volunteer visits from LifePath’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. These regular visits ensure the seniors’ well-being, educate them about their rights, and help residents find resolutions to concerns. Ombudsman volunteers visit weekly on a flexible schedule. 

The post-holiday season can be a difficult time for many seniors who have no close family members or whose family has returned home.

The Ombudsman Program is a perfect fit for anyone who would like to develop their ability to advocate on behalf of others. No prior experience required. Training and supervision is key to preparing volunteers for this important role. The next local training will be held on March 25, 26, and 27 in Holyoke, MA. Please contact Trevor Boeding, MPH, Ombudsman program director, for more information and to get started on your application.  You can reach him via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at 413-773-5555, X2241 or 978-544-2259, X2241.

The SHINE program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone), is a LifePath program providing free and confidential health insurance counseling for Medicare recipients. Volunteers receive extensive training to become comfortable with all aspects of Medicare choices and then meet individually with seniors one-to-one to help resolve Medicare issues. 

Most area senior centers and hospitals have a SHINE volunteer assigned to conduct weekly appointments so seniors should call their local organizations if Medicare counseling and help is needed. SHINE volunteers, who have been called “angels” by some of the seniors they helped, need to be computer savvy and have good listening skills.

For adults who are 55 or older and are looking for significant activities to brighten the long winter days ahead, please volunteer. Contact Pat Sicard, Volunteer Manager, RSVP of the Pioneer Valley, 413-387-1286, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for Franklin and Hampshire County opportunities; or Ginger Elliott, Volunteer Coordinator, RSVP of the Pioneer Valley, 413-387-1296, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for Hampden County needs.