Rosebridge Manor aims to boost its volunteer roster

People needed to provide one-to-one-support, help with outings

As provincial government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic ease, many OMNI Health Care homes are welcoming family members and visitors once again.

Rosebridge Manor in Jasper is experiencing this return of entertainers and loved ones, much to the joy of its residents.

But as life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Kathy Barr looks ahead towards planning upcoming programs and activities, she’s coming up a bit short in terms of volunteers.

While Rosebridge Manor has typically had a healthy roster of volunteers, the number of people available to lend a helping hand has dwindled during the past two years amidst the pandemic.

Some volunteers are aging and are not up to coming into the home anymore, others are nervous about the coronavirus, and some have moved on with their lives in other areas.

“That’s going to be a work in progress – getting volunteers back in the home,” Kathy says.

“We need to work on building that back up because so many things have happened over the last two years — more than two years — that have impacted our volunteer program. We have to almost start from scratch again with the exception of one or two volunteers.”

While Kathy expects students to reach out to the home to complete their volunteer hours, she’s also looking for additional volunteers to spend time with residents.

People can help in many ways, Kathy says. They can assist with outings and activities and programs. Of particular need at the moment, are volunteers who can spend one-on-one time with individual residents, the LEC says.

Having conversations, sharing a short story, enjoying music, or playing a card game are just a few examples of one-to-one activities.

“That’s the first priority.”

As spring here, residents are also looking to enjoy the outdoors so that will be happening more often when warmer weather arrives.

Volunteers can play a role there too by accompanying residents on a stroll around the property or taking part in gardening. The summer also holds opportunities for volunteers to assist with barbecues and other outdoor events.

For more information about volunteering, call Kathy at 613-283-5471 and/or keep an eye on an upcoming edition of the home’s newsletter.

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