1. MainerMikeBrown
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    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

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    Volunteering At Nursing Homes Isn't Sad To Me

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MainerMikeBrown, Jun 22, 2013.

    Some people consider volunteering at nursing homes (visiting nursing home residents and playing group games such as bingo) as something that’s sad and downright depressing.

    However, I disagree. I think helping out elderly residents at nursing homes is something that can be enjoyable and worthwhile.

    The thing is, if you want to volunteer at a nursing home, you have to view it as an opportunity to help the residents there.

    If you can look at it that way, then volunteering at nursing homes can be anything but sad.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I volunteered for a number of years at an adult model daycare center for clients with memory disorders and some forms of mild dementia. It was very rewarding. One of the clients had been a WAVE durring WWII and after her daughter, having found the two of us chatting and swapping military stories one afternoon, brought her mother's photo albums from those days. They were the coolest photos I have ever seen in my life. It was straight from a movie. The best photo had all the gals, in uniform, sitting on the wing of a bomber. They looked super boogie-woogie bugle boy chic. It was the best. :)
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't think it's 'sad' in either sense of the word. In one sense I consider it extremely noble, in the other it must be hugely pleasing to make a positive difference to someone's life. I say: good on you!
     
  4. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    When I was in elementary school about ten of the after school students would go to a local nursing home and spend time with the elderly patients, playing games, eating graham crackers, and other activities. They appreciated youth, and liked talking with us, and I didn't mind going over there. At the time I wasn't old enough to realize how horrible the place was. It was run down, cheap, and had a high rate of turnover. It was later shut down for shady practices. It was a good experience, but being surrounded by a level of suffering is something most of us don't consider too happy. Though it can be very noble.
     
  5. Cydramech
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    Cydramech Member

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    Some people can handle helping others, some people can't. But so long as you do it voluntarily and don't scold those not willing, there's nothing wrong with it.

    I couldn't stand helping old people though, and if I ever get to the point I would need help with my daily living, I'd rather die first.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to wonder if the same holds true for working/volunteering in a hospice...

    i fully intend to do so when i get to that point [if i'm not lucky enough to die suddenly, before i get to that stage]... which is why i chose oregon, when i had no choice but to return to living in the US...
     
  7. Cydramech
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    Cydramech Member

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    I suspect in time it'll change in a few other states, and definitely those with a libertarian or Goldwater-leaning influence (such as New Hampshire with the Free State Project, maybe Wyoming, and dare I say possibly Arizona and/or Nevada in spite of their current political fields).
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wouldn't hold my breath, if i were you, cy... unless you look good in blue! ;)
     
  9. Cydramech
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    Cydramech Member

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    I'm neither blue nor red, so I do not see the need to hold my breath. d(^.~)b

    I'm black, through and through (not the skin color!).
     
  10. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I admire people who volunteer at nursing homes because it takes great strength, strength that all of us have in varying degrees. I visit my relatives there every week, but sometimes they are sad or depressed and it is hard knowing there is nothing I can do to lighten their mood permanently. I have other family who do not visit at all. I sometimes get angry at them, but I understand that if they went, they would not be able to cope.
     
  11. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Have intended to volunteer in a nursing home and actually will in the upcomming summer. I think it's very rewarding, also demanding, but
    the overall outcome is, I believe, of positive sort.

    I think it is similar in principle, only it must be more demanding and, in the end, maybe even more rewarding, if one adopts a good, healthy approach to work.

    It's a great mistery why some people are tortured in such a way. There must be some deeper meaning to it and thus befallen person has no other option
    than to find it and embark on a spiritual journey. Death may indeed seem like a way out - my great grandmother would spent whole days lieing on her bed praying, saying
    she waited for death to come. She was afraid death had forgotten to take her.
    However, it is my belief that man is not the ruler over life and death, not even his own life, thus he has no right to take it away from anyone, save when protecting other
    people's lives.

    A person should be dying in somebody's hands, not by somebody's hands.
     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think it takes a special kind of people to really give care - all of us know how to feed a person, how to dress them or help them walk, bring them stuff, chat with them - but people can feel whether or not you're just doing your job, and whether you actually care about them personally. The ones who can care personally for those in need - whether the old, the sick, the disabled, the homeless, or the dying - they are special. In my opinion, such people will always be special - they're the angels amongst us and they make this world a brighter place.

    All of us love the ones who love us, the majority of us are able to be kind and care for strangers - but the test comes when it's a daily thing, and it's for a stranger whom you do not love automatically, and the stranger might not care for you at all - and STILL you care for them.

    I've seen in it my husband. When at 16 he volunteered for a clinic - I don't remember if it was a mild schizophrenia clinic or an Alzheimer's clinic, he discovered the patients had not been taken out of the clinic for a very long period. The nurses never do it. The patients are simply stuck inside all day, everyday. At only 16, a mere teenager, he asked for permission and organised to take each patient out individually for a walk. Later, after I met him, he worked for the cancer ward after graduation, where over 90% of the patients are in their terminal stage, he was the only one who could soothe some of the patients. There was one patient who could never be pleased, the patient was rude to the staff and made all sorts of demands, and my husband was able to make her happy. I asked him, "How did you do that?" And he said, "I went out of my way to do things for her. If she wanted her tea hotter, I'll go and heat it up for her. I asked her questions."

    I wasn't there, and the things he said seem so basic, so simple. But I am convinced that the patient was happy only with my husband because - by the fact that he went out of his way for her, that he asked her questions, he made sure he knew what she wanted - he showed that he cared. Even though there were 20 other beds and plenty more to do, and he was exhausted, he still did it. It seems easy, it sounds like something anyone would've done, but it's not true - not when you're being yelled at and ordered around and you've been on your feet for 10 hours on the ward and you've just cleaned out someone's excrement and washed another patient's body and broken the bad news to yet another family member - and then a rude patient comes and demands a very specific sandwich... And still you care about the details. That's a gift.

    And that's how I know when I met my husband that he's a gem not to be missed :) People like him are certainly out there, but they're rare. I say this because I know I am not one of them - I am blessed with one of them but I myself am not like this, I am kind but I'm not that kind, and I admire people who are so tender-hearted.
     

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