While studying abroad, we had the choice to volunteer or what we looked at more as making connections, with any community foundation in the town of Spiddal. I along with three other girls walked down to the nursing home, about a 7 minute walk from our place of residence. The head nurse was Katie. Katie was one of those people who the minute you met her, you could tell she was passionate about her job, and not only her job, but the people included in it.
The first time we went, we massaged the elderly people’s hands with lotion. Kendra and I got to know a sweet lady with the name of Anne. This was the first time and was more of getting to know the elderly.
The next two times I went, was on a Wednesday. They have activities to keep the residents involved and feeling good about themselves. Some of the activities they had was, singing, painting, and exercises in the chair, tossing a ball and answering questions, and playing with a parachute. Some of these activities keep the residents muscles loose. The lady who came to sing with the residents sang mostly old Irish folk songs. I was only able to recognize a few of the tunes. Some of which were, Galway girl, Danny Boy and a few others. The other activity we did the other day was tossing beach balls to the residents. One of the beach balls had questions on it, and when their hands caught the ball, they had to answer that question. This was my favorite activity that we helped with as we were able to get to know the residents even more. I found out that one of the ladies was 96 years. Almost every time we walked into the nursing home, this resident would be reciting a poem that she learned years ago. As she said it, she would say it with such joy and enthusiasm, that no matter how many times the workers had heard her say it, they always had a smile. My favorite part of making connections with these people, was learning a little about what they have to go through every day and seeing how much joy the staff bring to them and they bring to the staff. The one thing that I won’t forget, was, when this man was asked what was one thing he was looking forward to. His reply was: “Going to heaven”. I learned a lot from this experience and was very thankful for the opportunity to meet such friendly amazing people.