“I have lived in Siachin for 5 years while I was posted there, everything there is so different from here.” “Jawahar Lal Nehru came to see the play I was performing in and compared it with one such play in London!” – These are just some examples of the experiences that we get to hear of when we spend time with an elderly. Elderly have a treasure of memories and experiences that they wait to share with others.
They’ve helped make us everything we are today. So just imagine how many valuable stories, lessons and experiences our elders can share with us. When we spend time volunteering with seniors, we benefit just as much as they do—and we can learn a lot too!
Here are some benefits one can keep in mind while choosing to volunteer with the elderly:
1) Gaining a wealth of knowledge – Sitting down and chatting with an elderly can provide a wealth of knowledge for any individual!
They have clearly lived through some of the greatest changes technology has brought to our world, from kitchen appliances and color television, to computers and cell phones. Listening to their stories can provide wisdom and insights for life, offering a new perspective for one’s own life circumstances.
2) Improving the life of elderly – Loneliness has been directly related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. With that in mind, think about the difference we can make in someone’s life when we take the time to sit and chat, or offer a meaningful experience for them.
3) Supporting Families – While the family provides for all their needs and necessities, someone else coming to visit their elderly loved one will assure that they get meaningful engagement and someone to look forward to. The families can use this time for themselves or finishing their other work.
4) Learning the process of bonding with different age groups – Age gap is an evident hiccup when we sit and talk to an elderly but once we try we find many similarities with them, it can be common love for a particular book or interest in music or their experience at our favorite places etc.
Once we have decided to get all this and many more benefits and learnings from volunteering with elderly, we have to know what it takes to volunteer with an elderly. Here are some qualities or important points to keep in mind before enrolling starting any volunteer work:
They are old and accustomed to a certain set of rules and if anyone wants to help them then he/she also needs to be calm and disciplined. The volunteer needs to take the work and the time seriously. Elderly do not like many changes so if we take up some work for some time then we need to commit to it.
Having conversations with elderly can be fun and interesting but one needs to brush up his/her communication skill to talk to them. One needs to empathetic, soft, sensitive, open and confident. The volunteer needs to understand the problems of the elderly from their point of view.
If all this sounds exciting and fulfilling to you and you wish to volunteer, you can start with
1) Helping the elderly in your own neighborhood. Give them some time, visit them regularly, help them run some errands, etc.
2) Invest your time at old age homes; there are various government and private run old age homes where you can give your precious company to the elder residents.
3) Or you can join an organization like ours, Samvedna Senior Care, to volunteer. Learn to interact with elderly, offer them your company, teach them something and learn from them even more, play games, hold meaningful and interesting conversations, etc.
We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.
Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. All our senior care specialists are psychologists or gerontologists.
Here are some of our services –
With our General Well Being Services we aim to raise the quality of life of seniors, specially those who may have limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints. Our interactive programme keeps them active and engaged through physical, mental and social activities, all in the comfort of their home.
Great Times by Samvedna is our social and recreational club in Sector 57, Gurgaon, for members 55 years and above. Its a place where members come to get fit, meet like minded people and share their life experiences and give back to the community.
Activities at the club include fitness exercises, group meditation, mind stimulation, tambola, dancing, book reviews, movies, community outreach, and talks on health management. The club has a library, computer room, visits by physiotherapists and doctors, access to board games and cards, a fully functional pantry with healthy and affordable snacks and tea and coffee on the house.
There are special discounts for group memberships. The club is open Monday-Friday, 11am to 5pm.There are special classes for yoga, smart phones, computers, spoken english, dance, music and painting. We also have Bridge mornings every Tuesday and Thursday. Call Great Times Club at 9818421446, 0124-4229659.
Know more here – Great Times Club