Rustic “21st” Birthday
Every nursing home has a calendar displayed prominently in the facility. It will show all sorts of activities planned for the residents, and the calendar is usually full of cool stuff and field trips. On our calendar, the residents who are celebrating birthdays during the month are listed.
I love to make cards for people. Above is a card I made for one gentleman who recently celebrated his 80-plus birthday. He loves to read books, mostly about westerns. When he was younger, he owned many horses and won many rodeo competitions. His birthday card was very simple to make, and I could tell it made him happy that I remembered. I wanted it look western/rustic and show some humor. He loved the card, and laughed at the 21 years old reference!
On another day, I had given him a Johnny Cash book to read (which he finished in one day). When I saw him again, he started telling me about meeting Cash in the 1940′s! He decided to give me a book out of his personal western library. This is the book he gave me to read.
I asked if he like it or if it was a good book. He said, “Not really”. We both started laughing while he tries to describe the book. Apparently, it had too much plot that dealt with non-western topics, even though it falls in the western genre. The non-western topic he was referring to was that one character had tuberculosis. He said that he likes westerns only- no extra stuff.
My apologies to Mr. Grove.
When people find out that I volunteer in a nursing home, the first comment is usually about how they don’t know how I do it or that they couldn’t handle it. This blog will explain how to become comfortable with the elderly and show you that you can do this!
My program connects volunteers with residents who do not have family or the family is too far away to visit often. As of this date, I have been officially assigned to four residents. On Monday, I will be assigned to two more gentlemen. Although I am assigned to certain residents, I visit with everyone and become friends with all of the residents. The only difference is that near the end of life, I sit, read to, calm, and comfort my personal residents as I am their “family”.
I see life in cycles/waves/circular, and Monday starts a new cycle for me at the center as I will meet my new residents. I truly consider these men and women my friends, and speak of them as such.
Once I get permission from the people in charge, I will post more about where I volunteer because they have many opportunities in every state. I am really looking forward to Monday. My first assigned resident is in his 80′s, and makes me laugh every time I see him. Of course, it is because he is actually making fun and laughing at me! He always tells me that I am late when I come in, even though I don’t have a set visitation time. He is such a firecracker, and I love it.