Hello all – have you thought about volunteering? It really is a good way to meet people and get involved. Usually your local Municipal Authority has a list of volunteering opportunities that you could look at. Sometimes you may need to draw on skills that you already have but often training is provided. There is a great need in the community for volunteers in every field and any time you you can give will be gratefully received.
In my case I decided to join a Community Visitors Scheme which pairs you with a person in an aged care facility who is in need of a visitor. Usually they are residents who do not have family or if they do, they fail to visit or they live too far away to pop by on a regular basis.
Of course it can be quite confronting because one day you know that you yourself may be in need of some type of care. On the other hand it is very rewarding to see the face of your new friend light up when you walk in the room. How happy they are to tell you their life story and listen to what is going on in the outside world. I have enjoyed joining in birthday and Christmas celebrations and sometimes sharing family secrets. Believe me it’s surprising what you are privy to.
The lady that I have visited since 2008 recently passed away at 91. I felt very privileged that I was asked to write a little about her for the aged care Newsletter. She had shared with me stories of her parents, her childhood in Hungary, meeting her husband on the boat out to Australia, her only son and working in a Government Depart for a one time leader of the Federal Opposition Party.
I am going to take a little break before I decide to visit another resident, though I have already been asked as there are so many in need. I will keep you posted.