Becoming an assisted living volunteer not only benefits the people you are helping, but also you. Learn more about what these benefits are.
Are you tired of the same old routine on the weekends? Do you have a strong desire to help people and to improve their lives? There are almost 1 million people living in assisted living facilities, and volunteers are always welcome.
If the idea of becoming an assisted living volunteer sounds good, then this article’s for you. We’ll cover some of the key benefits of volunteering with elderly people, and help you get started volunteering in your local community.
Before you start to volunteer with the elderly, you’ll need to make sure your immunizations are up to date. Depending upon your age, you might need to get several shots.
State laws vary, but you’ll probably need to be current on your chicken pox, mumps and measles, meningitis, flu, and Hepatitis vaccines. If you’re not sure about the laws in your state, ask a few nursing homes in your local area.
Another thing you’ll need before you start is a good pair of shoes, preferably with a steel toe. You’re going to be on your feet for a lot of your shift, and it’s important to be safe and comfortable.
Finally, you’ll need to pick a few assisted living facilities and start applying. They’ll probably ask you to fill out an application first and then call you back for an in-person interview.
If you’re looking to do in-home care, you may not need to have any training. This website has more information about friends-and-family in-home care options.
One of the best parts about volunteering with elderly people is making new friends. You’ll be able to talk with people who have lived through World War II, the 1960s and 70s, and who remember life before the internet.
You might be shy at first, but it’s okay to talk to the people you’re helping. Whether you’re doing housekeeping duties or bringing them meals, a simple hello can go a long way.
If you’re helping a much older patient, you can ask them if they remember life before television. Did they have a phone when they were growing up? Who was their favorite president?
Studies often show that isolation leads to depression. Reach out to the folks in the senior home – most people are happy to share their life stories. All you have to do is ask.
If the people you’re serving don’t want to talk about their life stories, singing a song can help break the ice. If you’re running recreational activities, try to schedule a time to play some golden oldies. Once you start singing and dancing, the residents will probably follow suit.
Above all, always strive to be kind. Being in an assisted living facility can be lonely sometimes and residents rely on the staff and volunteers to cheer them up.
Volunteering is a great way to jump-start your resume. Employers want to see that you can work on a team, take the initiative on new projects, and commit to one job for at least one year.
When you’re updating your resume, try to include the outcomes of your projects. Did you figure out a way to deliver meals more quickly? Have people noticed that you’re a great host for recreational activities?
Employers understand that you may not have had a lot of work experience. They’re looking for quality over quantity and a good work ethic.
If you’re a small business owner, volunteering is good for your employee morale. Giving back to the community is always a good idea, and having employees volunteer together builds team spirit.
If assisted living volunteering sounds good to you, you might want to have a fundraiser. You could organize a car wash, walk-a-thon, or auction. Then, you can show that you have project management experience on your resume.
Also, if you’re always on time and are great at organization, you can put that on your resume. Again, employers want to see that you are ambitious and dedicated to seeing projects through to completion.
Surprisingly, volunteering can improve your physical and mental health. You’ll have less physical pain and less of a chance to develop heart disease.
You’ll also feel calmer and more self-confident. It may sound strange that volunteering would make you feel better, but it’s nice to put aside everyday worries and focus on other people.
Volunteering at an assisted living home can be a challenge because you do form tight bonds with the residents. You see them several times a week, you develop friendships, and then they might move to a different facility. They might even get sick – or worse.
So why volunteer at all? It can be sad, but it’s important to care for people who are at the end of their lives. They’ve raised children and worked their entire lives, and now it’s time to rest and relax.
Ultimately, the sense of accomplishment and happiness that you get from volunteering will win out over sadness. You’ll know that you reached out and changed a person’s life when they needed you most.
If you’re looking for ways to be charitable, becoming an assisted living volunteer is the way to go. There is a wide range of volunteer positions available, but assisted living is a great place to start.
You could volunteer at a pet shelter or vet’s office, at a school or place of worship. The only thing you need to volunteer is a sense of goodwill and a passion for helping people.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you grow during your volunteer service. Take your time and find a position that you can commit to. If you’re a student or you work, make sure you’re not taking on too much responsibility.
We help people find more information about volunteering and being of service. To us, being of service is a lifestyle. Being of service means getting to know the people we’re serving, and developing compassion for ourselves and others.
Check out our blog or send us an email if you have questions.