Caring Hands helps Seniors live in their homes; training sessions May 30, July 25

Caring Hands, a project of John Muir Health, will hold trainings for community volunteers on May 30, at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, and again on July 25, at the John Muir Outpatient Center located in Brentwood. Call 925 952-2999 for more information.

Caring Hands volunteers help seniors remain independent and in their own homes as long as safely possible. Volunteers might provide a ride to the doctor or the grocery store. Just a friendly visit, a walk in the park or other social outings can make a person feel like they matter!

DOWNLOAD THE CARING HANDS VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

See below a report from a Caring Hands volunteer

Geraldine and Carol

Ten years ago, I was missing my mother. She was 95 and just beginning to need someone to care for her in her home. Connecticut where she lived was a long way from California and although I visited as often as I could, it didn’t feel as if I was doing enough.

I was grateful for my sisters who lived closer and for the wonderful woman who helped them care for my mother. I decided I needed to find a way to care for an aging senior here to compensate for not being able to do more for my mother.

And that was my introduction to Caring Hands—the perfect opportunity to meet and help a local senior. I was matched with Gerry, age 80, living on her own and coping with macular degeneration. The condition was making it increasingly difficult for her to read and manage her affairs. We began our weekly visits.

We would spend one afternoon each week keeping her accounts in order, reading the directions on her medications, labels, and newsletters. We shared the stories of our weeks, our families, our favorite recipes. We discussed the books we loved and our favorite authors.

We compared notes on movies, rooted for the A’s, and discussed current events.

We denounced politicians, wondered what celebs could possibly have been thinking, and managed the world events from her dining room table.

When her family couldn’t visit, we enjoyed Mother’s Day brunch together. And when her granddaughter comes to visit, we enjoy cookouts at my house and shopping trips.

Gerry just celebrated her 90th –what a milestone! It was a lovely celebration of life attended by family and friends. And it also marked our 10 year anniversary of being friends. I’m supposed to be helping her, but she has helped me more.

I’m in awe of her indomitable spirit, sense of humor, intelligence and courage. She is fearless and just keeps going despite her failing eyesight and some health challenges.

What a joy and blessing to be part of her life.

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Comments

  1. says

    As a Caring Hand volunteer for years and an advocate for them I can only cheer on everyone to donate your time. If you cannot dedicate regular weekly time to a senior then sign up for the Transportation side to help with lifts as needed. In fact I just today took a senior to the doctor and then CVS on just such an assignment.

    Good thoughts need good deeds to echo in our community.