« Working - Studs Terkel: The Parking | Main

What I want to do during my volunteering

Next week I am about to start volunteering at Lyngblomsten Old Person's home. I have no idea what to expect from the resident that I will be working with in helping her do activities and pass time but I do have a lot of goals. I guess I want to volunteer here to understand what aging in life is about. The possibility of dying of old age is high and I do not understand it. Why does life make us lose our abilities to the point where we are immobile, paralyzed, or inept to do common activities. Is it to remind us young people to take care of our bodies or else? or is it merely a reality and phase that all of us go through. I find that most of us view old people as "the others." It is always easier to look at someone who really requires your help and company when we do not want to as someone of less importance. This mindset keeps us free from guilt and any sentiment of obligation or responsibility.

I had this mindset growing up. I always neglected and hesitated being with older people especially my grandparents who died at age 78 and 80. I always assumed they were lazy and immobile by life style choices. While indeed several of my reasonings were true none of them justified why I ignored them. Who says I won't be that way?

So what better way to ammend this the best way possible and learn about the end phase of life? Why not get to know these elderly residents. They're full of knowledge and experiences. While they're less mobile they're most likely wiser.

I hope to get to know my resident and find out who she is and what she has gone through. I was told that she is very enegetic and sometimes too energetic for her age. I already have respect for her. THe fact that her mind wants to live regardless of what her body tells her. She still keeps her wits and knowledge with cards and sometimes crossword puzzles. I guess she is very friendly and that I am very fortunate to have her as my "volunteer friend." I am very excited about this volunterring partnership and expect to make the best out of it and most importantly learn a whole great deal.