Long-term care home needs volunteer
By Jenn Watt
Aug. 30, 2016
On Sunday mornings, Carol Stewart makes her way to Highland Wood long-term care home where she visits with the residents, reading to some, helping where she can.
If she can’t make it on time, they notice.
“If I’m late, the ones in the lobby are like, ‘where have you been?’ They tend to worry about me too, I guess,” says Stewart, who has been volunteering at the Haliburton facility for the last three years and says the residents there are as close to her as family.
She first got involved when her mother was a resident at the home, run by Haliburton Highlands Health Services. Stewart would come to see her mom and while she was there, would help with other tasks. It might be wheeling a resident to the washroom or helping someone get her cardigan on properly.
After her mother died, Stewart continued visiting and has become a regular, passionate volunteer.
“I just find by coming here I know it’s helping and I make them laugh and they give me such great affection,” she says.
She assists with the pub night, church services and comes by regularly in between to help wherever she’s needed.
Stewart is one of a handful of volunteers at the long-term care home. She urges others to join her.
“If you can spend an hour a week, Highland Wood long-term care has some lonely residents who would love a visit,” she wrote in a message to the paper. “Come for an hour and see if you can find a friend. Some like to talk; some like to listen. A few ladies would like their nails polished. The gentlemen enjoy a chat about cars or sports. Perhaps a game of euchre, cribbage, even poker … Give it a try. You will feel grateful and glad when you leave. You may even want to return. I did!”
HHHS’s volunteer co-ordinator Brigitte Gebauer says they are looking for “a broad spectrum” of volunteers and are flexible about hours and tasks.
People are needed to come in for friendly visiting, helping in the dining room when residents are eating, helping with activities and HHHS is also starting a palliative team for Highland Wood (a more specialized kind of volunteering that requires additional training).
“We’re going to be really flexible, just like we are with all of our other volunteer opportunities,” she says. “If you have an hour a week or 10 hours a week, you’re welcome because any little bit would be helpful.”
Anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch with Gebauer at 705-457-1392 ext. 2927 or email email@example.com.