This year I volunteered at Magnolia Springs East, a senior living facility. Magnolia Springs has two main parts- Assisted Living and Memory Care. The Assisted Living side allows Residents to enjoy as much freedom as they want, while receiving the care they need. They live independent lives but can receive help for things like laundry, transportation, and cleaning. The Memory Care Unit is for those with Alzheimers, Dementia, or other diseases that require more intensive care. Every Tuesday, I would hand out daily agendas to both sides of the facility, set up the daily movie, and answer any questions the residents may have had about the activities.
My services made a difference with both the residents and the staff at Magnolia Springs East. The people in the Activites department loved having an extra set of hands to help accomplish tasks. By volunteering, they were able to go home early and spend time with their families. The residents also loved seeing me, as well as the other SHA volunteers. They constantly thanked me for helping them and thanked me for taking the time to come volunteer every week. I plan on continuing to volunteer here until summer because volunteers help lighten their workload. The staff already has so much to take of on a daily basis, so they need as much help as they can get.
Volunteering at this agency addresses the social issue of Human Dignity and Respect for Life. In our society today, the elderly are often tossed aside and their needs are forgotten about. I think there is a misconception that because they are adults, they do not need as much care as other vulnerable members of society do. Government programs like Social Security and Medicare should be required because they help protect the elderly. I think by raising awareness that this group still needs our help and protection, we can cause change. I think spreading information is key, because it's not that society dislikes the elderly, I just think they are uninformed about their needs.
Volunteering at Magnolia Springs has caused me to have greater respect for my elders. By spending time with them, I've learned so many wise things from past experiences they have shared with me. I also have learned to listen and respect different view points other than my own. This age group has entirely different viewpoints on current issues in our world compared to mine. Learning about these views has taught me to be a more accepting individual, something I believe our society needs. I believe that its important to care for everyone regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, political views, economic status, etc because that is one of the fundamental principles in Catholic Social Teaching.