Low Volunteer Numbers Impact Hospice Patients - myfoxcarolinas.com

Low Volunteer Numbers Impact Hospice Patients

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Wendover Hospice House in Shelby is going through a decline of volunteers. They're asking the community for support because this impacts the patients at the facility, like 81-year-old Bill Stroud, who looks forward to having visitors everyday.

He's still grieving the lost of this wife. The social interaction gets him through the day.

"I miss her so greatly," he said. "Sometime back, a lady who lost her husband called me, and said 'When do you ever get over it with the grief?' I said 'Well, you never get over experiencing their death. You just learn to adjust."

The visits don't always happen. Some days are better than others. That's because out of the 158 patients here, only 35 percent of them get volunteers.

Krista Haynes, patient and volunteer family coordinator, says there's always a need for more help, but she's noticing a new trend that's alarming.

"It seems that the times now, our volunteers are aging out. A lot of them that are retired have been volunteers for a long time are now having health problems," she said.

Haynes says patients need that emotional support as they near the end of their lives. And whatever reason people come here to volunteer, the joy it brings to these patients, as Stroud describes it, is life changing.

"It makes a huge difference, because you won't be sitting their wondering and thinking about all your problems or things like that. When they come, you can communicate like you always have. This is life you know. So it's uplifting," he said.

For more information on how to become a volunteer, visit their website, www.hospicecares.cc or call 704-751-3547

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