Pack your pens, pencils, and reusable water bottles, it’s time to go back to school.
As students nationwide return to the classroom, some might find it hard to imagine fitting in time to volunteer. Schedules become packed with homework, sports practices, school plays, and other extracurricular activities, making it tempting to put giving back on the back burner.
But, volunteer service is more than something that your mom insists will look good on your high school or college resume. It can point you to new interests, new friends, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even a lifelong career. And yeah, okay, it’ll also look good on your resume.
The reasons to volunteer go even deeper…
Some benefits of volunteering with seniors:
- Have fun while making someone’s day better
- Build your resume and develop skills
- Connect with like-minded students
- Build community, sense of purpose, and personal fulfillment
- Developing connections with residents, family members, and staff
- Enhancing a specific skill set and sharing your experience with others
- Learning from a supportive and knowledgeable staff team
- Having flexible hours adapted to your own schedule
- Earn money toward your education with our scholarship program (seriously, click here to find out more)
Lori Kary, Recreation Therapist and Regional Director of Health and Wellness at St. Albert Retirement Residence loves volunteers.
“Having student volunteers is not only great for our residents, but also for the students as well!”
“I feel that students have had their eyes open to ‘retirement living’ and that we have a lot going on that they didn’t expect,” says Lori. “One of them told me she thought it would be ‘boring’ and kind of ‘sad’ to volunteer here!!” It’s exactly the opposite. “I literally laughed out loud because – after spending time here – she said that the seniors reminded her of her friends and how they all like to hang out and do activities together!”
“I made so many friends and developed relationships with the residents and they made coming here so much fun! The staff always made me feel comfortable and I actually feel like I am part of your team!”
– Keilah, volunteer at St Albert Retirement Residence
You don’t need special skills or training to volunteer at retirement residence
Volunteers play an active and important role at All Seniors Care. We have many opportunities for caring and compassionate people. Whether you are interested in assisting our trained staff in a specific activity, or leading a program on your own, we will customize your experience so that it meets your needs while positively impacting the lives of our residents.
Some of the volunteer opportunities in our senior living communities:
- Conducting one-on-one social visits with residents
- Assisting with special events, game nights, and clubs
- Intergenerational programs
- Crafts and music programs
- Baking & cooking
- Video chat lessons
- Reading or letter-writing
Rest assured, volunteers receive all the guidance, support, and training that they need to have a successful experience.
Put your skills to use
Are you able to do nails or hair? Can you sketch portraits? Do you play chess or bridge? All these skills – and more – would be appreciated by the residents in retirement living.
Students enrolled in the scholarship program, are often invited to commit to a weekly program like Beauty Club. Other times, seniors and volunteers form a special friendship and organize fun activities together for the rest of the community.
Volunteering During a Pandemic
Interruption in volunteer hours during lockdowns, meant getting creative. While many missed the friendships that they’d forged with seniors and other volunteers, they were still able to enrich the lives of seniors in isolation.
“Volunteers are our behind-the-scenes heroes,” says Kailey Brown, Wellness Manager at Lewis Estates Retirement Residence.
“They have been so adaptable – even during the height of the pandemic, they continued to help elevate our residents’ lives by working on projects at home and keeping our recreation department running smoothly! Their genuine love for seniors makes our community a better environment!”
From-home volunteer opportunities include:
- Slideshow presentations to be playing on a loop during events
- Video recordings of volunteers playing an instrument
- Video chatting with residents as a form of one-on-one visit
- Creating posters for upcoming events
- Creating custom placemats for the dining room (for Father’s Day/Mother’s day)
- Designing social media posts
- Making cards for our residents (birthdays, holiday cards etc.)
- Creating photo booth props
“The “volunteer from home” opportunities have been so-o-o-o creative,” says Kailey. “If you check our Facebook page from the Tokyo Olympics, the slideshow was made by our volunteers!”
Make a difference in a senior’s life
As a volunteer you will be welcomed into our All Seniors Care family, giving you the opportunity to be part of a vibrant and social community, make some new friends, and experience the diverse personalities of our residents.
If you are student, check out our scholarship program, whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to our regular student volunteers who donate their time, talents and skills to the All Seniors Care Living Centres communities. You can contact us anytime for more info about this scholarship and how you can apply for it.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with All Seniors Care or to become an All Seniors Care Pen Pal, visit https://www.allseniorscare.com/volunteer-here/.
Writer: Julianna McLeod