In honor of National Volunteer Week, we reached out to one of our amazing volunteers and simply asked, “why do you volunteer at Insight?” Here is her story.
To write about why I volunteer at Insight I have to go back about nine years. In the fall of 2011 came a realization in our family that Grandma, my husband’s mother, was struggling…something all Insight families have experienced. Ove the next five years I became my mother-in-law’s primary caregiver, forging the most intense and personal relationship I’ve ever had with anyone. A stop along that journey was Alzheimer’s Family Day Center (now Insight), which provided my mother-in-law a joyful and active environment, and me some daytime respite. Our path led us onto assisted living memory care, hospitalizations, nursing homes, etc. When my beloved Jeannie died in June 2016 I was relieved, bereft and experiencing such personal loss. I felt like I had learned so much and still wanted to be a part of the memory care community I had come to appreciate and love so much. I emailed Insight and said “can I come volunteer?”
Insight is a happy, loving, vibrant community. No two days are ever the same! I learn new and interesting things about participants all the time and feel it is a privilege to know them and be with them and support them. Are there tough days, sad days, of course there are…but it’s still a blessing to be a part of someone’s personal journey.
I learn everyday from the staff. While working in the day center it became quickly apparent that there’s always someone who knows exactly what a participant likes to eat, where they want to sit, who they like and don’t like! In Reconnections, where I currently spend most of my time with Kennedy and Rodney, I have learned to embrace the journey of an activity and admire their dedication to the individuals. I have also learned that sometimes my age helps breach a divide of understanding between the participants and leaders!
My life would be much smaller with all my friends, participants and staff, at Insight Memory Care Center. I receive so much more than I give.