Here's the background on TOUCH...
As coordinator of the TOUCH Program, Timmie Weisbaum and a core of volunteers bring a ray of sunshine, a friendly smile, lively music, movement, and the magic of touch to people in nursing homes.
TOUCH is a legacy of caring begun by her mother, Cecile Barg in 1978. Over the years thousands of older adults have benefited from the program. “My mother realized the power of touch, and the need to be touched physically and mentally, especially for people who are in nursing homes,” Timmie said.
At the time the program was founded there were very few stimulating programs for people in nursing homes. Timmie admits she first became involved in TOUCH because of her mother, but “It wasn’t long until I was hooked. It’s contagious – you see faces light up, and bodies begin to move to the music…and you can feel the difference it makes to the people.”
Volunteers are needed for the program. “We’re looking for people with energy, who enjoy being around elders, who like exercise and want to make a difference. Volunteers can spend just an hour a week, a visit to one facility.” Timmie explained. Training is provided, and new volunteers go out with those who are experienced with the program.
“We greet the people, tell them we’re happy to be there. We ask them to take a deep breath and remember how important it is to smile and be kind and thoughtful to others. We remind them they’re important. Then we go through a series of gentle exercises to help get their circulation going and strengthen core muscles. During a break we give them shoulder or back rubs. We have very peppy, lively music, and sometimes we even have chair dancing. It’s a one hour program of good, gentle fun.”
Call 941.349.4325 to find out how you can volunteer.