April 28, 2005

Volunteers Prove Nursing Home is a ‘Caring Center’

Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. While the author of that quote has long been forgotten the words conveyed the exact message the Scotland County Care Center Director Kathy Smith wished to deliver to the packed house at the nursing home’s annual volunteer appreciation supper held April 18th.

The Care Center honored the numerous individual and groups that donate their time to the home and its residents throughout the year with a special dinner as part of National Volunteer Week.

“It makes no difference how big or how small your efforts have been,” Smith told the crowd, “you have made a real difference in the lives of our elderly.”

Volunteers fill countless roles at the nursing home, ranging from entertainment and inspiration to those who donate time to help feed residents and fill more day-to-day roles.

The latter is one of the more needed tasks, as many of the Care Center residents require individual aid at mealtime. Smith said the large number of needs often stretch the staff thin during the breakfast, lunch and dinner times.

“That’s one area in which we are extremely grateful to have the number of volunteers we have,” Smith said. “It’s so much better for the resident to have the one-on-one attention that these volunteers so freely offer them.”

But mealtime is far from the only area where locals give of their time to the Care Center. A number of church groups provide Sunday services and special devotion times as well as hymn sings.

The entertainment carries over to special bingo callers, readers and others that put on presentations involving hobbies, pets or even grandchildren.

“Our residents really enjoy when people from the community share their interests with them,” Smith said. “Of course we love to see the pets and children are always a big hit.”

Student groups volunteer to do landscaping work at the facility and a pair of sisters from Memphis have established an e-mail service for the residents allowing them to keep in touch with family and friends via the Internet.

One volunteer even puts together the Care Center’s monthly newsletter.

“We just can’t say enough about all the wonderful people that give of their time to us,” Smith said. “Of course we can always use more help. Just remember it only takes an hour or so of your time and doesn’t have to be an every day commitment.”

Individuals interested in volunteering at the care center can contact Smith or Activities Director Pat Clary at 660-465-7221.

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