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Family & Elders Program: Etta Veysey and Melba at Brookdale Highlands Ranch

After moving from Maine to Colorado, Etta Veysey yearned to be involved again with persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Bessie’s Hope is grateful that Etta reached out to become a volunteer in our Family and Elders Program.   We asked her to share her story in our newsletter.

“My mother, three aunts and an uncle were all diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I spent much time with them during this time in their life.   I came to understand their fears, frustrations, and difficulties dealing with the disease.  My mother also was deaf and had macular degeneration, which added another layer of stress to her.

I decided that if I could bring some measure of comfort, encouragement, and joy to elders, that was my mission.  I searched the web for volunteer opportunities with nursing home or assisted living elders. When I saw the Bessie’s Hope site, I immediately knew this was the organization I wanted to volunteer for. I am so thankful to be doing this work and for such a wonderful organization!!

I have been so blessed from my visits with Melba!  I knew when I first met her that I wanted to really get to know her and develop a relationship with her.  In order to do that, I needed to visit her often and consistently.  It has been pure joy to get to know her and experience her great sense of humor, which makes for a lot of smiles and laughter when we meet!!  We both taught school and grew up in the country, so we have many memories to share with each other and opinions on teaching today!!!  I have learned a lot about shearing sheep and teaching in a one room school house!!

Sometimes Melba and I sing along with music or recite poems and nursery rhymes we remember from our teaching days!  This usually ends in laughter, as neither of us can usually remember all the words!! ,I have gained a very special and treasured relationship with one of the kindest, sweetest, and wittiest human beings I have ever met!  If I have brought her any measure of happiness, friendship, and comfort, then I am truly blessed!!

This week when I came in, Melba’s eyes lit up, she got a big smile on her face, and she started tapping on the table!  “Oh”, she said, “I had hoped you would come!  I am so glad you are here!”  That made my day.  I gain more from the visits than anyone!”

Click here to learn more about our Familiy & Elders Program.