Volunteer at a Nursing Home: Create Memories to Treasure
Life in a nursing home, even the best of nursing homes, is often confusing, frustrating, scary, and lonely.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 50 percent of nursing home residents have no close relatives, and 46 percent have no living children. These two facts are a major reason why an estimated 60 percent of nursing home residents never have visitors.
Human contact is critical for health. Yet, a University of Maryland study of more than 1,400 "significant others" of nursing home residents found that the number of visits and calls by family and friends declined by half after an individual entered a nursing home. Try to imagine how you would feel if you had to leave your home to live in a new environment where you had limited or no access to your family and friends.
Nursing home volunteer opportunities can include spending time with a resident, playing cards, talking, taking a walk, or sharing a meal. But you can also make visits during which you and the nursing home resident create and preserve memories that will provide comfort for the resident when friends and family are absent.
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