Typically when people think of volunteer work, volunteering at a nursing home is not the first thing that comes to mind; at least it didn’t come to my mind. Canyon is home to the Hudson House a homey, quaint nursing home right by WT’s campus. My first day there I wasn’t sure what to expect. I walked in and saw people sitting on the couch, reading books, and small, quiet conversations. I entered into the manager’s office and asked where I could get started. Lucky for me, Saturdays are Bingo days. My job was to shout the numbers and when someone got a ‘bingo’ they won a prize off a cart. Prizes included small books, extra toilet paper, small decor items, etc. While calling numbers I did get a few “slow downs” and “speak ups”. Bingo day was no joke. While I was volunteering another girl who I went to school with came to volunteer as well. Apparently she volunteers there almost every week. She helped me with bingo, showed me around and introduced me to people. One woman who made a big impact on me was a woman named Billie. Billie has Alzheimer’s disease. She would ask us quite a few times what we were up to and our names. However, once we got past that we could hold a deep, meaningful conversation. One day I went and met Billie’s son. He said she was a very skilled artist! He showed me pictures of her work and I was impressed. I was a former art major and I can vouch for her talent. It was nice to relate with her on that subject. I researched information on nursing homes and found out that most people in nursing homes suffer from depression. Usually they don’t get a lot of company or visitors. It was nice to provide them with company and conversation. I may have been there to help and make an impact, but everyone I came contact with made just as much impact on me. If we don’t go and help, then who will? This internship may require only 10 hours of community service but this experience is something I will pursue even after the summer.
This is Billie. Each resident has their own room that includes a bathroom and small kitchen amenities. She has some of her art work hanging in her room too.
This is the Hudson House, right down the road from WT. Usually on my bike rides in the evenings I pass right by it!