A helping hand
By Gina Fonzo
I retired to become my mother’s primary caregiver. After five years, when she lost her battle with cancer, it was a difficult period. I was grieving for my mother, while also deciding what to do with all the spare time I now had. I felt completely lost.
One afternoon while I was walking back from the store, I noticed a sign at the local community centre asking for volunteers to help with a “senior’s lunch” on Wednesdays. Servers were needed to take food to the seniors and their caregivers during the meal. I thought I’d try it, so I signed up to help.
I started the next Wednesday by helping to serve a roast beef dinner to more than 50 seniors and their caregivers. It was busy, but by the end of the afternoon I felt happier than I had in months. I’m 73 now and yesterday was my 10th anniversary as a volunteer. We celebrated by having someone else bring me my cake.
By Shannon Meredith
Growing up I always considered myself to be the luckiest girl. While visiting grandparents was something that most of my friends got to do on weekends and holidays, I got to spend every single day with my grandmother. For me, the delicious meals, occasional baked goodies and constant words of endearment that only a grandparent can spoil you with were a regular thing. My parents also considered themselves fortunate to have grandma there to look after me when they were at work.
Last year grandma, who is now in her 90s, was diagnosed with osteoporosis. She has trouble walking on her own and needs a walker most of the time. Our home isn’t accessible so we decided it would be best for her to move to a care facility where she will be safe. Not having her there by our sides every single day was very difficult, especially for me. I’d grown used to our time together and with her absence I truly felt a void.
Shortly after, I discovered that Grandma’s nursing home was looking for volunteers. Although I’d never thought about volunteering, I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to become a part of grandma’s new life, as well as to help out in the community. Going to the home a couple of times a week has taught me a lot about the importance of giving back and has given me the chance to get to know a lot of amazing seniors. Most importantly, I know it has made grandma’s transition to her new home a lot easier.
Do you have a heart-warming caregiving story? Tell us about it! Your story should be 200 to 250 words long and we’d love to see a picture of you and your loved one. Either send us an email or become a fan on Facebook and share it there.
If you send us your tale, your name will be entered into a draw for a $25.00 gift card from Tim Horton’s