Imagine what it would be like to live out your life in a long-term care facility. The fact that you are there means you require a relatively high level of medical care. Now imagine what it would feel like if you had no relatives and/or friends to visit you. Imagine how isolated and despondent you might feel. Now, imagine that you can make a difference. You can be the bright shining light in a residents day, in their week, in their month. Yes, you.
How? It's simple. Simply by visiting. Your visit connects the resident with the outside world. Your visit lets the resident know that someone outside the confines of the facility cares about him or her. What an amazing gift! Imagine how much that gift would mean to you if you were the recipient. Imagine what that gift would mean to you as the person offering it. Imagine...
Want to give it a try? Want to give a resident hope, anticipation, connection, friendship, and "sunshine on a cloudy day"? We can make it easy.
The NC Division of Aging and Adult Services' Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has developed a program called Resident Connections. The program pairs willing volunteers with residents who would like companionship and one-on-one visiting.
No experience is needed. The volunteer will be matched to a resident based on similar interests and/or hobbies, location, and ability to visit at times available for the resident. The volunteer will be expected to actively engage the resident through various activities such as reading, letter writing, active listening, storytelling, and playing music and games.
Volunteers will complete a two hour training session. Staff will be available to answer your questions and to help you in any way. You must be 18 or older and have transportation. Other requirements may apply.
To find out more and/or to sign up to be a volunteer in this program, contact:
Long-Term Care Ombudsman/Elder Rights Specialist
If you are a caregiver, you may not have the time or energy to volunteer. But, as you provide support and love for your family member in a long-term care facility, contact us if you meet residents who need and want this type of support.