Helping out at aged care in Rockhampton

Annette Close, a volunteer at the Carinity Shalom aged care community in Rockhampton.

For those who made a New Year’s resolution to give back to their local community Carinity might just have the answer.

Volunteering is a meaningful way to support people in your neighbourhood and make a real difference to the lives of others, simply by using your existing experience and skills.

Carinity is welcoming prospective volunteers to support people in Rockhampton and all around Queensland.

By providing practical and social assistance, volunteers have a positive impact on the lives of elderly or vulnerable people in Carinity’s residential aged care, school, chaplaincy, and community and disability services. Volunteers in aged care provide additional opportunities for social connection and activities by giving support to personal care workers, nurses and diversional therapists.

This includes making social visits to residents, assisting with games, group pursuits and outings, and provide entertainment such as reading and live music.

Annette Close has been carrying out “extremely rewarding” volunteering at the Carinity Shalom aged care community in Rockhampton for seven years.

“After working in administration roles in aged care for 16 years, I enquired about volunteering but wanted to be more resident focused,” Annette said.

“I enjoy the contact with the residents and my aim is to try and make a difference to their lives. My aim each day is to make at least one resident laugh or smile. I feel if I can do this then I have achieved my reason for being there.”

Darryl Tippett understands how his presence benefits the residents of the Carinity Clifford House aged care community, where he assists with activities, functions and helps out on regular bus trips.

“You see the smile on the residents’ faces and the enjoyment they get from having a visitor. They’re just like family,” Darryl said.

Linda Sivyer, a volunteer chaplain at Carinity Hilltop aged care, finds that the simple act of stopping in for a chat goes a long way to brightening someone’s day.

“Some residents who don’t get out to activities really enjoy chatting. I love it. I’m here as a sounding board, to listen and to help,” Linda said.

Interacting with residents is also hugely beneficial for volunteers. Jan Cracknell says helping at Carinity Karinya Place has resulted in her making new friends and feeling more engaged.

Volunteer chaplains support people in aged care, hospitals and prisons, while volunteers can provide assistance at Carinity Education schools and disability and community services.

After realising that she “had spare time and wanted to do something to help others”, Dee Watt began volunteering at Carinity Education Southside.

“I was a bit nervous volunteering at first. Fortunately, everyone was very welcoming and made me feel comfortable.

They included me in their activities; I felt part of the team,” Dee said.

Wendy Hovard says volunteering at the Carinity Fassifern Community Centre in Boonah makes her feel part of her community.

“Being new to the area I gravitated to the community centre to volunteer as it is a great way to meet locals, both workers and patrons.

Being a volunteer is so rewarding and I love being part of such a supportive team,” Wendy said.

Carinity is welcoming prospective volunteers in Boonah, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Laidley, Mount Morgan, Rockhampton, Toogoolawah, Toowoomba and Townsville. Anyone interested in volunteering can phone 07 3550 3737 or visit www.carinity.org.au/volunteer.

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