A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand
Retirement Living

Volunteers are the lifeblood of SwanCare. Today we spoke to two dedicated reception volunteers, Doreen Boss and Merilyn Babidge.

Doreen and Merilyn have lived at SwanCare Bentley Park for the past 18 months and said they love the idea of being useful to staff and visitors in the residential aged care centres.

Since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Doreen and Merilyn have volunteered their time at the care centres.

“During COVID we helped administer Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to visitors, made sure people were aware of the rules of visiting, checked their vaccinations and kept RATs stocked up. We also helped register visitors electronically and generally chauffeured them through; as COVID created a lot more work for SwanCare,” Merilyn said.

“Because of the additional work COVID presented on top of everything else the receptionist does, I’ve also been helping out with some administrative duties at reception, just so they can catch up,” Doreen said.

“I help out with the residents too, if someone has dementia and they’re agitated I help settle them down, and generally just help visitors register at reception.”

Both ladies say that they love volunteering because it helps them feel like a valued member of the SwanCare community and helps the care centres run smoothly.

“I think we should all live by the philosophy that if we give a lot, we get back,” Doreen said.

“That doesn’t mean that you need to give gifts, it’s more about giving your time. I truly believe it’s a two-way flow. Apart from being useful, it’s also a good thing to do.”

Merilyn agreed saying she feels lucky to be part of such a supportive community and wanted to give back.

“So much of what I do is centred around me in my retirement. While that’s lovely, volunteering helps you feel useful to other people. That’s important in your retirement and gives you a great feeling of satisfaction too,” Merilyn said.

“I’d highly recommend volunteering; it breaks up your week and lets you focus on other people and what they need.”

“Moving here recently was the best thing I’ve done,” Merilyn said. “I’ve met some wonderful people and there’s so many activities I can enjoy, such as line dancing, singing in the choir and volunteering.”

Doreen agreed, saying she felt well looked after at SwanCare and loves the community she is now part of.

“I teach a class of Qigong here (a healing martial arts exercise). I volunteer and I take part in many activities. I’ve made great friends and I feel lucky to be a part of it, that’s why giving back to it is so important to me.”

A big thank you to you both Doreen and Merilyn for offering your assistance during these tumultuous times.


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