Amid Social Distancing, LifePath Seeks Helpers to Manage Community Needs

GREENFIELD — LifePath, in its efforts to prevent spread of the coronavirus and mitigate the risk to the most vulnerable populations served through the agency, seeks volunteer community partners during this time of heightened need and anxiety.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, LifePath recognizes the many unique challenges it faces as a human service agency, such as the staff and volunteers, on whom LifePath relies, needing to step away from their duties; Meals on Wheels recipients declining meal delivery out of fear of the virus entering their home; and in-home care consumers voicing their concerns about how they will continue to live independently if they find themselves or those who support them needing to be quarantined.

“We take our responsibility seriously to do everything possible to protect the health and well-being of those we serve,” Executive Director Barbara Bodzin said. “That means planning and advocating as best we can, through our own infrastructure, and reaching out to professional partners and the community at large. It also means training staff and volunteers to keep themselves and those with whom they interact healthy and safe, communicating with our consumers and the community, being a resource, securing support to do our work, and making sure we are on top of any related developments,”

The agency calls on the community for the following:

• Apply to be a backup volunteer to cover routes and shifts of volunteers affected by the virus, including Meals on Wheels drivers, grocery delivery, transportation to a medical appointment, etc.;

• Consider becoming a personal-care attendant, as LifePath expects to see a decline in front-line, in-home care providers resulting from the effects of the virus on the community;

• Take on the responsibility of checking on the well-being of an older adult in your neighborhood, especially if you believe they receive support in their homes;

• Get involved with your local Village program to provide assistance to a neighbor who has a specific household need; or

• Step up to create and activate community-based systems, made of informal efforts meant to sustain local communities through this difficult time.

In addition, revenue streams are at risk of being disrupted. In order to keep its systems going and provide for increased service needs, LifePath is accepting donations so that it may address existing as well as new and different requests from those it serves.

To sign up for or inquire about any of the opportunities, contact the Information and Caregiver Resource Center at (413) 773-5555, ext. 1230, or e-mail info@lifepathma.org.

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