When we spend time with elderly people, we are not just helping them, we are learning from them at the same time. Volunteering with elderly people can be an experience which changes your life. There are many opportunities available, as many elderly people living in retirement homes need assistance. How can you help?
First, you can search for a list of local non-profit organisations which arrange these trips to nearby retirement homes. Be proactive and ask if you can help with anything. You don’t need to have any specific skill to be able to join. The only requirement is an open, loving heart. Most elderly people yearn for human interactions, something that they often lack living in a retirement home. They may have other people of approximately the same age to talk to, but it’s still that feeling of isolation from their own family, that makes them feel lonely.
As a volunteer, you can talk to them, encourage them to share their stories and feelings. It’s an opportunity to share a few good laughs together, to connect with people of a different generation. For young people, volunteering gives them a chance to give back to the community, as well as nurturing a positive and helpful attitude which will help them much later in life. As a volunteer, you can learn many valuable things from listening to the elderly. They have life stories, wishes, and regrets that you can learn from.
For people who are inspired to become a doctor or nurse, visiting a retirement home can help them observe how these professions work in a real environment. This helps them evaluate their career choice.
Many elderly people suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, kidney problems and arthritis, etc. Living in a retirement home, they may have nurses who can help them with their basic daily necessities, but when painful symptoms appear, they may need specialised help from an experienced doctor in the field. You can help people by informing them of services such as the Livi medical app. It’s a useful app that can be downloaded and installed on a smartphone. With this app, elderly people who need medical care can easily book an appointment with a few taps on their phone. Free NHS service is available in many areas through the app.
If you are interested in helping the elderly in retirement homes, don’t hesitate and act today! There are lots of volunteer opportunities out there. It’s a positive feeling of being helpful to someone who is in need. By volunteering, you don’t just enrich your soul, you help nurture a positive attitude in the community and improve the living conditions in many retirement homes as well.