The main reason for volunteering in a nursing home, aged care facility or retirement home is that you really will make a difference to people’s lives.
In other words, it is meaningful. A lot of volunteers say that the best thing is not so much the activities, but having the chance to sit down and talk to people (in whatever languages you speak!), people who often have no other visitors! They really look forward to your visits.
Some other reasons cited by volunteers include:
- It is a stepping stone to a future career: volunteering is a great way to get real life industry experience
- It puts your own problems into perspective
- Some people are spooked by the idea of death. In a nursing home, it won’t seem so scary after a while, but rather a natural and expected passage
- If you are feeling lonely, a nursing home is like a small town. It won’t be long before everyone is happy to see you and greets you by name.
Plus, you get a chance to use your skills and talents in activities like these:
- Sport – Share a passion for your favourite sports with residents
- Music – like Tricia!
- Animals – assist with pets as therapy programs
- Arts and crafts
It is not for everybody, but volunteering in aged care is becoming more and more important and valuable than ever before.
Here are some web sites with information about volunteering in aged care. You will find many others. Or you could enquire at your local nursing home.
Bupa aged care
Salvos Aged Care Plus