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I now live across the street from a senior assisted living facility...

6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

and I've been wondering if, in this day and age, volunteers (for a lack of a better word) are allowed to come into facilities such as this and do something to help - or just to generally try to cheer the lives of people living there? The thought has crossed my mind several times. I don't even know what I would DO, but perhaps bake cookies to share with someone there, read a story to someone, just go in and be a physical presence to sit beside someone. I don't know, really - and I'm sort of just "thinking out loud here." Recently on a sunny weekend morning, I watched a woman on a motorized scooter exit the front doors and drive herself into the parking lot where she sat and just soaked up the sunshine. I started to cross the street and talk to her, but I froze. I wasn't so much afraid of HER, but worried that the facility might have rules about going onto their property and interacting with the residents.

I don't have time to engage in a full-time volunteer "job" there, but I do keep wondering if facilities generally allow outsiders to come in and participate as I've described above. I'm assuming you would need to be somehow vetted by staff. And yes, of course I could simply pick up the phone and ask someone there on staff ... but part of me becomes the shy 8 year old who worries about being viewed as a weirdo when I think of doing that.

I miss my grandparents very much. Towards the end of their lives they were in a similar facility. I remember the loneliness that was palpable in the hallways.

It occurs to me that perhaps a good way to introduce myself would be to bake cookies and take them to the staff. Would that be ... odd?

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