There are many ways a volunteer can enhance a life of an older individual and their family. Here is a wonderful story about how a Friendship at Home volunteer touched the lives of a client and his family.
Chuck was a client at the Shell Point Memory Unit when we received a referral from his family for services. They felt that Chuck needed help some days at lunch time to encourage him to eat and be more engaged overall.
A new Friendship at Home volunteer learned about him at her orientation and felt she wanted to help, despite the fact that she lived about 20 miles away from Shell Point. She later said that his case just touched her heart.
So, Arlene started to visit Chuck every Wednesday from 11am to 2pm. Initially it was just to provide socialization during his meal time, but Arlene learned of Chuck’s love for music-a love she shared.
Arlene even kept in contact with the family to let them know how he was doing and if she thought he wasn’t feeling well.
Chuck recently passed away and his family was very grateful for Arlene’s assistance. She even stayed with the family for several hours on her scheduled day, even though Chuck was moved to the hospice unit and was unresponsive until his passing a few days later.
Chuck’s family wrote the following about Arlene in his death announcement:
“Last, but certainly not least, his children will be forever grateful to Arlene. Her kindness, compassion, sense of humor and love of music brought Chuck many hours of joy. She began as a volunteer and quickly became a valued friend.”
Chuck’s daughter and Arlene each said late, the time they shared while at Chuck’s bedside provided closure to both the family and the volunteer.
To find out how you can get involved as a volunteer with the Friendship at Home Program call Margaret Baugher at 239.275.1881 or Caroline Allen at 941.556.3249.