Elder Care Volunteers was initiated in 2015 by an experienced volunteer and volunteer coordinator surprised at the lack of volunteer programmes in many elder care facilities.
After volunteering for several years in a home among elders, the realisation that residents in other homes were not receiving the same attention was disheartening. The benefits of resident-volunteer relationships seemed obvious. Residents enjoy the company and feel valued, volunteers' understanding and ability to relate to others increases, and both achieve personal growth while at the same time gaining a new companion. So why are there still care homes without volunteer programmes?
It can take a lot of time to set up a successful volunteer programme. Additionally, the prospect of interviewing, orientating and introducing volunteers to care homes can be daunting. But we think it's worth it.
So here we are. Elder Care Volunteers was created- a community outreach project run totally by volunteers working to spread resident-volunteer companionship throughout Central Auckland. Eventually we hope this group will be unnecessary, because care homes will have developed the tools and knowledge required to support their own volunteer programmes. Until we reach that point, we will continue to encourage the development of resident-volunteer relationships. Companionship is not something that can wait.