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Making Days Meaningful

Image of Colorful EnvelopesKathy Hatfield, who writes a cheerful, anecdotal blog at KnowItAlz, posted an interesting idea. In a post called Giving Back, she writes:

Dad and Katie are volunteering today. When Dad came to live with me, I decided that he should have some activity every day. So, I sent out an email to every non profit in town, offering his volunteer services.

Katie is Kathy’s dad’s companion.

Yes, you get the 78 year old Alzheimer’s patient, but you also get the 22 year old CNA, Katie.

Kathy notes that she chooses the volunteer activities carefully, making sure that they will be fun for her dad, and she’s also ensured success by checking with the organizations first. That last bit is a critical piece, I think, for everyone’s happiness. By matching her dad’s affinities and abilities to the opportunity, and getting the organization’s OK, Kathy’s making sure Dad and Katie will be both welcome and helpful.

The benefits for Kathy’s dad are obvious — he’s out and about, doing things that he’d otherwise not experience, getting mental stimulation that he wouldn’t get at home. I think there are a hidden benefits for Katie, too. Her days are more varied; she’s sharing different experiences with Kathy’s dad, and she gets to “give back”, too.

Image of envelopes (as for stuffing) from Flickr.

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