Volunteer ‘phenomenal with residents with dementia’

Rosebridge Manor

Rosebridge Manor honours volunteers during recent luncheon

From the woman who visits one-to-one with residents to the lady who helps facilitate the residents’ council, Rosebridge Manor is blessed with a crew of valuable volunteers.

Their contributions play an important role in shaping the quality of life for residents of the Jasper long-term care home. With National Volunteer Week 2018 running April 15-21, Kathy Barr, life enrichment co-ordinator, took the opportunity to honour its volunteers by hosting a volunteer luncheon.

“We had a good turn-out and a lovely meal,” Kathy says.

“It was a nice day outside. Everything was just aligned.”

Rosebridge has about 40 volunteers, when including the individual musicians in the bands who entertain residents, and nearly all of them attended the event.

During the luncheon, Rosebridge presented two volunteers with Ontario Long Term Care Association awards recognizing the amount of time and service they offer to Rosebridge Manor and its residents. The two women have been devoted to the home for a few years now.

Lynne Hurd offers friendly visiting services on a weekly basis to 10-15 residents. She meets one-to-one with residents who don’t have regular company. “Her friendly visiting program is huge in the home” for supporting residents who don’t have family or are isolated or for whatever reason opt not to participate in group programs, Kathy explains.

Lynne has a teaching background, experience working with children who have autism and “she’s just phenomenal with residents with dementia. She has a great sense of humour and it really translates well to our population.”

Meanwhile, volunteer Gillian Organ helps facilitate the residents’ council. She also runs craft programs, which are a big draw for residents. She has a teaching background in art and “she’s fabulous with that,’ Kathy says. “We’re thrilled to have her.”

Both women are cherished by Rosebridge.

“It helps so much,” Kathy says about the volunteers’ impact on the home. “It’s awesome.”

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate and thank Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers, Volunteer Canada notes.

This year’s theme is: “Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections and community.”

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