May 21, 2020

Volunteers: The Unsung Heroes Of Aged Care

Looking good and feeling good have always gone hand-in-hand, and there is nothing quite like a fresh new hairstyle to make a person walk a little taller.

Aged care facilities may not be known for their style, but wanting to look your best is not a desire that does not diminish with age.

People who make the selfless decision to volunteer their time assisting in residential aged care facilities are the unsung heroes of the industry.

Many volunteers possess skillsets from other areas of their lives which can prove to be very valuable in an aged care setting, and one such volunteer is a woman by the name of Lara Armstrong.

Lara’s mother is currently a resident at Baptistcare Mirrambeena Residential Care in the beautiful Margaret River region of Perth.

Just over four years ago, Lara decided that she wanted to volunteer at the home to remain close to her mum which resulted in Lara taking on the role of an assistant hairdresser at the home.

“I knew that I wanted to be part of brightening up the lives of those in aged care,” she said.

“I felt that making the day a little bit better than it was before for local aged care residents would give me the sense that I was still close to my mum,” she said.

Lara got the idea to volunteer at her mother’s home after coming across a social media post that the aged care facility was looking for a hairdresser

“I knew that Mirrambeena’s reputation was fantastic and about eight of the ladies that work here are my good friends,” said Lara.

“So, I rang another girlfriend who is a hairdresser and said would you be keen to be the hairdresser once a week and I’ll volunteer as your apprentice.”

PRC-8

What started off a selfless donation of time quickly blossomed into everyday visits, as interacting with the homes other 50 residents have become just as special for Lana as remaining close to mum.

“My experience as a volunteer has been fantastic and all of the residents have become my mum or dad,” she said.

In a recent statement, Baptistcare CEO, Russel Bricknell, spoke highly of the contribution that volunteers make at aged care homes as he believes that they are an integral part of creating a warm and nurturing environment for residents.

“There are many reasons why family and friends are unable to visit aged care residents regularly and this can leave them craving conversations and friendship,” said Mr Bricknell.

“Our volunteers offer residents companionship and a strong connection to their communities which are incredibly valuable.”

Mr. Bricknell said anyone can be a volunteer – all you need is a genuine desire to help people and empathy, compassion and kindness.

“Our volunteers tell me it’s a win-win situation because it gives them such a sense of purpose and fulfillment.”

 

Photo Credit – iStock – kzenon

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