The beautiful gifts one can bestow upon another are Time and Kindness. When one is giving their time to someone else, they are offering a portion of their life in which it may never get back. Lending a helping hand to one in need and never expecting a thank you. This act of kindness lies within the act of giving and never taking.
Volunteering offers people opportunities to change lives, including their own. It provides this satisfaction of playing a role in someone else’s life, helping those who may not be able to help themselves. It is a means to give back to the community while developing critical social skills and obtaining necessary work experience at the same time.
Being able to take part in other people’s life gave me a sense of happiness, something in which it is tough to come by. Providing them with a sense of pure joy and high spirits, I was able to connect with them on a more profound and emotional level in Harmony Health Center, a nursing and rehabilitation home for seniors. Waking them up to start their day, bathing them, feeding them, and playing with them became my source of content throughout the couple of days that passed by. It was hard, but something worth the while.
With some, I became close enough to call them grandma and grandpa as they began to call out to me every so often when I had my hands full with other tasks at hand. Through them, I was able to learn more about myself, as well. Some things I learned was that I am a very patient person, especially with those that are in a program with Alzheimer’s. Paying attention to the smallest details was an essential task at hand. This program showed me the different kinds of Alzheimer one has. One might try to stand up, leading them to fall. One repeats over and over again, “I want ballet shoes to dance” in Spanish while another would say “Para Que,” meaning “why” in Spanish for any little thing. Others would try to go under the table and escape the nurses. Lastly, some will try to bite, pinch, punch, or kick another.
There is an estimate from alzheimersnewstoday.com that 44 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Each disease is different from another. It is, as far as I know, not curable, which is very sad. With any home hospitals, their main task is to help others not lose so much of themselves because of the disease. At times, one would have to be a bit harsh on the patient when it comes to telling them to eat or brush their teeth. If not, they will slowly forget to do it by themselves — leading them to gradually become what many call a vegetable state when they are not able to move physically all around.
I hope to continue this route of giving back to my community in any way, shape, or form after this semester.
PS. Please enjoy this small clip of Jose singing “Mucho Corazón” by Luis Miguel; I hope to bring a smile on one’s face and make their day with this.