Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2017 – Elderly Visits

Name: Jessica RayAnn McCormick
From: Evansville, Indiana
Grade: Junior
School: Murray State
Votes: 0


Volunteering has been something that I have been very passionate about very since I
was a little girl. I love putting smiles on people’s faces whether
they are young or old, males or females. Recently I decided to
volunteer in a nursing home. I figured this would be a challenge due
to the passing of my grandma in a nursing home.

My grandma woke up and decided to use the bathroom early Sunday morning in September
of 2013. When she woke up the nurses were notified by the loud ring
of her walker. Although this ring was ear piercing they couldn’t be
there in time and my grandma had fallen unconscious and passed away.
They Life flighted her, but she was no longer able to hold on. This
gave me a very negative outlook on nurses and nursing homes. Dealing
with this at a young age is what encouraged me to volunteer at a
nursing home and keep an open mind to change my previous opinion.

Starting in October of 2016 I volunteered at a local nursing home for roughly two
hours a day, three times a week. This continued for six months and
brought me closer to many of the elders and their families. We did
everything from playing BINGO to long walks around the building to
listening to music and engaging in conversation about their life
growing up. I’ve realized every one of them have a unique story to
tell and personality to share. Even though I enjoyed volunteering, it
wasn’t always a cake walk. I would get asked, “Why are you
volunteering?” multiple times, especially from resident suffering
from Alzheimer’s. Explaining that my grandma passed away always
brought tears to my eyes. I also struggled with seeing the residents
grow weak and weary. Contrary, it was extremely rewarding hearing the
residents tell me they look forward to me visiting and that they
couldn’t wait until I came back. Concluding my volunteer work, I
learned that not all nursing homes are bad, accidents happen, and
always visit because it brightens their day.

After volunteering at the nursing home, I realized it is not something I
want to pursue as a career, but something I would love to keep doing
as a hobby. I loved donating my time and knowledge with a different
generation. Looking forward means that you don’t have time to dwell
on the past and keep negative thoughts, you always need to go through
life with an open mind. I know my act of volunteering made a
difference because I saw the looks on their faces when I walked into
the room to visit. If they had a bad day I would be the one to make
it better and try to give their life more meaning. In conclusion,
volunteering is very important and my future career will be health
related, so I can better the lives around me.

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