Ryan Hughes is associated with MHA.org.uk and has experience working with people who have health and issues that comes with aging. He was kind enough to write the below guest article.
Older folks who are living in a nursing care facility are either rehabbing from a serious injury, require consistent care, or are moving out of retirement living and preparing for the end of their lives. However, these people still deserve to have their dignity intact until they leave the facility. While staff can provide for many of the patient’s needs, they can’t always be there to talk or play a game with a patient when he or she is feeling blue or having a bad day.
Volunteers Can Bridge The Gap
Fortunately, there are many people who are willing to play checkers with, talk to or otherwise keep a patient company or provide them with comfort in their final days. Although a segment of society may consider the elderly as a burden, these volunteers can be a much needed friend for someone who may not have any family or friends left.
Why Do Nursing Care Patients Need Volunteers To Befriend Them?
Science has shown that a positive attitude can make it easier to recover from an injury. Having someone or something to look forward to can improve the mood of a patient and lead to improved health. Specifically, those who are in a good mood tend to get sick less, suffer less from fatigue and pain and have lower instances of depression.
Volunteers Can Make A Real Impact On The Life Of A Patient
If you were confined to a bed without with no hope of seeing the outside world again, you may suffer from depression or regret if you were left to your own thoughts all day. However, having someone come visit you allows you to tell your life story to someone who is interested in what you have to say. Even if a patient doesn’t have anything profound to say, it can be a joy to have someone to watch the news with or play a game of cards or checkers once or twice a week.
Volunteers Don’t Have To Do Much
The best part about being a volunteer is that you don’t have to do much to make this impact. All you have to do is show up, interact in a genuine manner with a patient or patients and leave the facility feeling better about yourself. You never know what you could learn from an older person or when you will find someone who shares an interest with you that none of your friends or family members share with you. Over time, the relationship that you develop with a patient can just as beneficial for you as it is for the person who you are befriending.
Everyone has the right to live with dignity and hope. Whether you are a child, an adult or an elderly person confined to a nursing home, there is no reason why you should be stuck in a room by yourself all day. Those who would like to volunteer at a nursing care facility should contact a local facility as soon as possible. From there, you can schedule a convenient time when you can volunteer without having to put the rest of your life on hold.