Hey there. Lovely to see you reading me again.
Last week I walked into a Rest Home near to my house to ask if I could volunteer there over the summer. When not studying I get SERIOUSLY bored, and have wanted to work in a Home for a long time.
They were thrilled to see a young woman who wanted to offer time and not expect money!
I had to read some boring safety documents, take a booklet home to read, and got told I would come every Tuesday and Thursday morning for the duration of summer.
I went home feeling excited, and looking forward to all the beautiful elderly people I would meet the following week.
I LOVE old people.
I guess I applied for a number of reasons.
1. I was bored.
2. I have been meaning to do this for two years.
3. I have a bit of spare time on my hands and wanted to do something productive with it.
4. My grandma has lived overseas my whole life and I seriously get jealous that I don't have grandparents in my life.
5. I'd love to sit and learn and laugh, and observe these old people's lives, past and present.
6. It's good experience and would look nice on a C.V.
7. I get a weeee bit sick of constantly hanging out with young people.
8. I'm clearly just a good person! ;)
Today was my first day in the Home. I worked with a beautiful lady who I will call Marie (just for being safe and not blabby purposes). She is in charge of the DT department, which stands for something I can't even remember!
Pretty much she in charge of the hard to manage residents, the events and daily activities, meeting with residents and keeping everyone happy. The perfect woman for me to work with.
We spent an hour making small Christmas trees and chatting about our lives. She is a big family person, has travelled, and has very successful children. She loves her job and puts her whole heart into it. She is kind, friendly, organised, and just radiates joy.
Seeing her with the residents almost made me cry.
Then we had a cup of tea with the rest of the staff. The staffroom was very typical for a workplace, Latinos, Maori, Ilanders, Europeans and Kiwis. Smokers, haters, mothers, and a lot of gossip.
It was cool though, just watching. I felt like I was in a television episode =).
Then my favourite part came after we finished up the decorations. We got to play bowls with the residents. They can barely walk so we lined up chairs and put the green in the middle. The two teams take turns at sitting on a chair at the front and bowling.
Seeing the team effort, the cheering, the encouragement, and the competition was just great.
It made me realise old people are just like young people but their bodies are crapping out.
They still like to laugh and tease and play and be affectionate and fill their days with fun.
It was a cool time.
I really loved the names of everyone. June, Betty, Phillis, Robert, and Bill. So cute and old school.
June was a beautiful lady who was very fragile but I swear would have been a knockout in her day!
I want to name my future child after her =).
Life runs at a different pace in the Home.
Time moves slowly, and sometimes not at all. People choose their own pace, and everyone respects one another.
Skin is wrinkly, eyes are loosing sight, hearing aids are on full blast, and false teeth regularly poke out from worn smiles.
I just loved it!
They invited me to all their Christmas parties and lunches but unfortunately I'm not able to make a single one.
Regardless, I walked out of the Home with a smile on my face.
If anyone has thought about doing something similar, do it. It's fun, easy, and really rewarding.
With grace and peace,