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Jogging memories is a rewarding exercise, Resthaven volunteer says
Volunteer with Resthaven Murray Bridge and you’ll hear a lifetime of stories, Ken Wells says.
This sponsored post is brought to you by Resthaven.
Sometimes, a conversation is all a nursing home resident needs to feel connected to the wider community.
Ken Wells should know – he has been involved in countless such conversations over his years of volunteering with Resthaven Murray Bridge.
“Over 35 years ago I started, way back in the early 1980s,” he said.
“Our church was involved in fundraising for Resthaven – we used to have fetes and things like that at the Resthaven site to raise money.
“Then, when my mother went up there in ‘77, ‘78, I got involved up there, too.”
He started out on the board, when each Resthaven facility had its own, and has had several other volunteer roles over the years.
But he is best known to residents for sharing some of the 900 or so photos he has taken in Murray Bridge over the years.
He used to visit for a monthly presentation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and still pops in now and then.
“I could talk to them and they couldn’t picture what was going on, but you take a photo and they say ‘oh, I remember that’,” he said.
“I’d been doing that for probably 10 or 15 years.”
Jogging residents’ memories – helping them keep their minds occupied – was a rewarding exercise, he said.
Almost everyone had stories to tell about the places they had lived and the things they had done.
“Just get involved with them and sit down with them afterwards,” he said.
“With a couple of them, I’ll go into the cafeteria and have a cup of tea with them and reminisce – that’s what it’s all about.
“Sometimes they just want to talk about what they did, sometimes you just talk about how your day has been, and your hour with them just buzzes by.”
He encouraged anyone with an interest in people to consider volunteering with Resthaven.
“If you’ve got talents or gifts to give to people who aren’t able to get about towards the end of their lives, (give them),” he said.
“They just want a bit of encouragement, someone to say ‘this is not the end’.
“Sometimes you just sit and listen – they’ve got a lifetime of stories to tell.”
Volunteer with Resthaven: Visit www.resthaven.asn.au or call 8373 9036.
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