1983 FIRST EXPERIENCE - OLD AGE HOME
by SHARYN ANDERSON
The home was across the street and over the tracks, I passed it fairly often coming & going, always wondering what went on in there with those old folks?
One day I walked over and entered the building. Walking through the sliding doors, I quickly noticed several elderly people sitting around, reading magazines, newspapers, talking with each other. They noticed me too, and they all had a smile for me some even said hello. I couldn't help but smile back and say hello, how are you doing today?
These old people were very kind, warm and obviously looking for someone new to tell their stories, someone who had the time to listen, because staff are very busy at seniors long-term care facilities.
I know that for sure because after my experience those first few times, being around these old folks, I felt a kind of warmth and desire to be in their presence. Each visit to that facility was so, I don't no how to really put into words the feeling I felt, except maybe going back to my grandparents place.
Loving family all around, happiness, fun times, smiling and laughter, good times!
I enjoyed my volunteer shifts at that home, the staff were friendly, welcoming, helpful, inspiring, glad to see me come through the doors each and every visit. They were happy I was able to prepare cakes and cookies & tea or a cold drink for the old folks!
AFTER Everyone was settled with their evening snack, I was able to sit with them and give each and everyone my undivided attention and listen, really listen to their stories, and they liked that someone was with them, even just for a little while to ~ listen ~
These old people are so very special, their stories I will remember always, and the smiles each senior had on his or her face when they told it forever precious in my mind for always.
I was so moved because of everyone I came to know at that seniors' home, at 34 years of age, I applied to nursing school and was accepted because I had all the was required to be a good nurse, according to the reference given by staff & the wonderful seniors at that home.
After my graduation from nursing school, I applied for and got a job at that very seniors' home where I had volunteered for so many wonderful and memorable evenings.
That was 30 years ago, they are all gone now but I will always remember those smiles and hellos' and most of all, those heartwarming stories that made me feel like part of there family on my volunteer evening!