You’ve read the newspaper stories and have seen the reports on TV: an elderly person is physically, emotionally, or sexually abused – how about the one that was financially exploited by a family member or most recently here locally patients in a long-term care facility are being victimized by staff members. Fact: According to the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (Tennessee.gov), in 2012- 2,032 cases of elder abuse were reported. Fact: only 1 in 23 cases of elder abuse are reported.
When something like this happens, we all ask ourselves how, and we wonder why someone can’t someone intervene before these crimes are committed. The truth is, someone could (and should) have helped long before any elder was victimized.
That’s where you come in. Volunteer for the elderly. Today I will explain no matter what you are good at or even not so good at you can help by being a volunteer. Today I will give you the basics of how and where you can start to be a volunteer. Finally, today I will show you how you make a difference being a volunteer for the elderly.
I know you are asking yourself- How can I help? I am not good at anything. That’s the beauty of it, you don’t have to be. There are numerous areas that you can help out when helping seniors. There’s volunteering to help disables seniors, for example – Chris – you can help – you could plant some of your day lilies to spruce up the lady’s house down the street. I’m sure you can remember the one always known as grandma and back when she was able to do her yard work. Sally – was there ever someone that always was helping your dad or granddad on the car but now his health has failed and he wouldn’t have the breath to change his own oil but he also can’t afford to pay someone.
You can help. The public library needs volunteers to distribute books to those that are unable to leave their homes, Deanna – you can help even just 1 person once every 2 weeks to renew or return the books for them. Who knows they could live on your street. Meals on wheels need volunteers every day, and Tonya, did you know you can help out with that? Yep, you can cook so you can help. Hospice can use your help; assisted living facilities are in desperate need your help also. Brenda that could be you – helping with education for women on self-breast exams. You can help.
So how do you start volunteering for seniors? It’s easy. Depending on how you want to volunteer is up to you. E-how. Com states, if you choose to be in a place setting such as a nursing home, library, etc., you will probably have to fill out a volunteer application, undergo a criminal background check and have an informal interview and possibly training. But the benefits outweigh the formalities ten to one.
I have some flyers here that help provide steps on how to choose volunteer work that’s right for you.
An even easier way to start is just go visit someone. Hold the door open for someone. Walk down the street and help someone by finishing taking the trash to the curb. Beth – you can contact the volunteer coordinator at your church and ask how you can help, I am sure they visit shut-ins. Carla -you can call the activities director of an assisted-living facility and ask how you can volunteer by maybe bringing you kids down there to brighten their day. Karen – you could bake an extra loaf of bread and drop it off at the soup kitchen in your area. There are endless ways to start volunteering.
So how do you make a difference in volunteering? Volunteering has a meaningful, positive impact on your community. But did you know that it can have many benefits for you too? I’d like to share with you some benefits of volunteering from world volunteer web. Org (Web). 1. Learn or develop a new skill, David could you spend 45 minutes tinkering with someone in a garage or woodshed willing to learn their way of doing things?
2. Be part of your community (Volunteering is ultimately about helping others and having an impact on people’s wellbeing).
Mr. Woods, could you spend extra 30 minutes or so after a presentation with a little old lady that had questions about her husband’s heart condition and the quickest way she will get him help? What better way is there to connect with your community and give a little back?
3. Motivation and sense of achievement, unlike many things in life there is choice involved in volunteering. As a volunteer you have made a decision to help on your own accord, free from pressure to act from others. Volunteers predominantly express a sense of achievement and motivation, and this is ultimately generated from your desire and enthusiasm to help.
4. Boost your career options,( A survey carried out by TimeBank through Reed Executive showed that among 200 of the U. S. leading businesses
73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted.
Today I have covered three important reasons to volunteer, one – even though you think you can’t do anything special you can still volunteer, two- I have armed you with the knowledge and ability to start volunteering and third I have shown you that you do make a difference. Send a signal to your employer, teachers, friends and family…
People do pay attention to your life outside the environment in which they have direct contact with you. Volunteering reflects and supports a complete picture of you, and gives real examples of your commitment, dedication and interests. Show people what you are passionate about and maybe you will inspire them too! Each and every one of you have the power to express you desire to help out in your own unique way. So please help that WWII veteran or that retired teacher that just can’t anymore. Remember you can help.