As aged care providers continue to battle the impact of COVID testing and isolation protocols, volunteers are playing a more important role than ever before at Baptistcare Graceford Residential Care in Byford.
They ensure residents still have plenty of companionship and connection when visitor restrictions and the furloughing of staff are necessary to keep everybody at Graceford healthy and safe.
“We are fortunate to have a small army of dedicated and compassionate volunteers who bring laughter, joy and conversation into the lives of the seniors in our care,” said Baptistcare CEO Russell Bricknell.
“But we would love to see more people from the local community become part of the extended Graceford family through volunteering.”
Mr Bricknell said in addition to providing friendship, volunteers help residents stay in touch with family and friends through technology, assist them in pursuing projects and hobbies and enable them to engage in leisure and lifestyle activities.
“We are conscious residents are missing their families and friends during these difficult times, so volunteers ensure Graceford continues to offer a warm and homely atmosphere.”
Byford grandmother Jackie Beales has been volunteering at Baptistcare Graceford Residential Care for 12 years.
She is determined to keep spending time with the seniors she refers to as her second family, even during COVID-19 restrictions.
“I love being able to help out wherever I can but sitting down with residents for a one-on-one chat about their life and family is probably one of my favourite volunteer activities,” said Jackie.
“It is so rewarding to be able to help, but especially when COVID has meant visits by family and friends are sometimes restricted.”
Lynnette Wood is another Graceford volunteer whose visits make an enormous difference to seniors who call the facility home.
“Just simple things like assisting with morning teas can be a great help,” said Lynnette.
“We also play a role in helping residents connect with their loved ones over the phone and video when visits simply aren’t possible.”
Mr Bricknell said the positive impact made by volunteers like Jackie and Lynnette can’t be underestimated, and Baptistcare is grateful for the empathy and care they bring to their roles.
“Week in, week out, we see the tremendous difference our volunteers make in the lives of our residents. There is no better time than now to consider offering your time and support,” he said.
If you would like to become a Baptistcare volunteer, you can register your interest at baptistcare.com.au/volunteering