I have found that the benefits of volunteering are numerous. You build relationships and friendships with your seniors. For the senior, it gives them something to look forward to-the weekly visit; this helps validate their worth and helps improve their mental health. For the volunteer doing something so needed with your time gives your life new meaning
Annie Kushner, AAHA Volunteer
I was surprised in how fast my "Friendly Visitor" and I became friends! I have been part of the program for almost 3 years now and cannot even explain how much it has changed my life. Prior to being introduced to Abbotsford Healthy Aging, I was so lonely and sad. I was having such trouble getting around, and keeping my social life. But then I was referred, and what a blessing. The friendly coordinator called and set a time to meet with. After a couple weeks, my FV called me and set a time to meet. The very first day my FV and I knew we would instantly become friends. Now she comes over and we have tea together. We share stories, laugh, cry and just enjoy life together. Thank you to the Friendly Visiting Program and Abbotsford Healthy Aging for providing a needed support service in Abbotsford.
My Friendly Visitor and I meet once a week. It been such a lovely time. I am especially grateful to have her help me with my grocery shopping! I don’t know what I would do without her. It has been just so great to have her in my life, we have built a strong relationship. Thank you to Healthy Aging in fostering such a wonderful friendship.
I think the home visits to clients are advantageous for their mental well-being. It gives them something to look forward to. On occasion, I'll include one or two other clients at the care home to have coffee and snacks with my client and myself. She's a quiet, rather shy lady and this helps her to feel more comfortable if I'm there with her while she and I chat to the other clients. She enjoys looking at photos of her family and telling me stories of her life growing up and the early years of her marriage. I think the visits help to keep these memories alive for her. I feel having someone from outside of the world in which the clients live, helps to make them feel like they're not quite so isolated and are connected more to the outside world. The visits provide the clients with healthy mental stimulation and hopefully makes them feel like they are not forgotten and are appreciated.
Jenny Jantz, AAHA Volunteer
The time with my client has been enjoyable as we spend building our relationship over having tea and sharing stories from our past. It has been pleasant to get to know my client through hearing her life stories.
Hope Spears, AAHA Volunteer
I was very pleased with how it all started. Within our initial meeting, my friendly visitor and I, immediately began our friendship. We try to meet once a week, or every other week, and have become quite close. It has been such a wonderful experience, and I’m very happy to have gained a friend from it.