By Chad Ingram
Published July 28 2016
Cards. Crafts. Going for a walk. Watching the hockey game.
There are a multitude of ways community members can spend time with residents of Hyland Crest says volunteer Pat Bradley.
“My mother (also named Pat) came in 2011 she passed away in 2013” Bradley says. “I’d gotten attached to a few of the residents and it just blossomed from there.”
Bradley now comes to Minden’s long-term care facility two to three times a week helping to run the Music and Memories program among other activities.
“It’s kind of like karaoke with old-time songs . . . and it brings back memories” Bradley says adding she’s looking for someone to assist her with that program which runs from 9:15 to 11 a.m. each Thursday morning. “It’s very easy.”
There are a whole host of activities volunteers can do with residents Bradley says.
There are some residents who rarely receive visits from family or friends.
“A lot of them just need someone to come in and sit with them” she says.
Bradley a member of the Minden Health Care Auxiliary and the Hyland Crest family council says she’s loved to see someone institute a walking program taking residents for walks either outside or even inside the Haliburton Highlands Health Services facility.
She stresses how important exercise is.
“It’s use it or lose it” she says.
It could be sharing travel photos with residents or simply coming in to watch a hockey game with residents.
“A lot of the times it’s females who come in to volunteer” Bradley says. “Another thing is we’d like to see more men.”
Male residents are looking for male companionships she says someone to do man stuff with – watch the hockey games talk about sports play cards.
“They like to play cards” Bradley says adding that crib and euchre are favourites. She’s got a list of interested card players for anyone who’d like to come to the facility and start a game or league.
There are some crokinole players as well.
“There are bird feeders that need filling” Bradley says. “Someone who’s interested in birds could come in and talk to residents about birds. They’d love that.”
Gardeners are welcome too.
“There are residents who are able to do small gardening jobs with somebody” Bradley says.
She would also like to see more opportunities for arts and crafts.
“There are so many artistic people in this community.”
Volunteers could also help usher residents for their trips out into the community to locations such as the Legion and Tim Hortons.
She notes those trips have to be fundraised for and that after shelter and food there’s not a huge budget left for residents’ entertainment which is where volunteers come in.
Bradley finds the experience deeply rewarding.
“Because I have so much fun” she says when asked why she continues to volunteer multiple times a week year after year. “I come out of here smiling. This is for me as much as them. These are our parents our grandparents. These are the people who have done so much for us.”
Anyone interested in volunteering can call Hyland Crest at 705-286-2140 and ask for the activities department.
Anyone who’d like to go with Bradley to try volunteering can call her directly at 705-934-0011.