Pictured are Blythe Dollar, Bessie’s Hope Program Coordinator, who is conducting a “placement” with volunteer, Andrea Goth. They are visiting elders at Greenridge Place. After volunteers participate in the Family and Elders Program orientation, they are introduced to a number of elders who have no one, or who are seldom visited. This is the “placement”. The volunteer may choose to adopt one person or to visit as many as possible upon each of his/her visits.
Our Family and Elders Program provides the opportunity for individuals or families to “adopt” an elder, or elders, who have no personal visitors. This is such a rewarding experience. Individuals always report that they felt they received more than they could possibly give, and it is a deeply fulfilling relationship with the elder. Families report that it is such a meaningful experience for family members to share. With everyone being so busy with their own interests, this is a time the family comes together to give of themselves. Families have also said that it has made a positive difference in family dynamics. Coming together to give love, just creates more love for everyone involved!
There are some interesting and appealing elements within this volunteer program. You don’t have to have a schedule. You drop in to visit, as you would a family member. This is what the goal is—the relationship becomes like family and mutually rewarding. Also, if you choose to not adopt just one or two elders, you can also choose to create your own “program” or project for many of the elders at the care home. For example, you can provide nail polishing and hand cream for all the ladies who come to your own scheduled “spa” time. If you do choose to create a group experience, it does have to be scheduled in advance. If it’s an ongoing group activity, you can commit to every month, twice a month, weekly, etc. Another example, you can choose to play the piano once a month.