Why I Volunteer: Meet Bobbi
1. Of all the places in Oxford County, why did you choose to volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford?
At the time my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease there was no such program as a Volunteer Companion Program, where either one of us lived. When she came to live with my family and I, life changed dramatically for us. My children found it hard to see their grandmother deteriorate before their eyes. There weren’t any programs for any of us to attend to learn about the disease and to express their concerns and the impact on their lives. We all struggled through each day without any help, professional or not. Once she was admitted to a nursing home life changed again. She spent the next 10 years going downhill before our eyes. As I had no help from my brother I vowed I would find a way to help other families in a similar situation even for a few hours a day or week.
We moved to Tillsonburg and through a new friend I heard about the Volunteer Companion Program at the Oxford chapter. The rest is history. Just to give someone, 2-3 hours a week, a break, is rewarding. Just to see them come home with a smile and a little more relaxed is wonderful too.
2. How long have you been a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford?
I have volunteered for about 8 years.
3. What volunteer positions are you currently involved with at the Alzheimer Society of Oxford?
Being a Volunteer Companion is #1 but wherever the Society needs help I am happy to help out.
4. What is your most memorable moment from volunteering with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford?
I was willing and able to drive my first companion and his wife to have him admitted to a nursing home an hours drive away. They had no family living near Tillsonburg. While it was not the most pleasant experience, I was so glad to be able to help his wife out. We remain friends to this day.
5. What impact has volunteering at the Alzheimer Society of Oxford had on you?
The impact on me is profound as you realize there are more people being diagnoses with some form of dementia on a daily basis. Also, in my age group, 70 plus, friends or their spouses are now experiencing this diagnosis. Who knows, I could be next but I know there is help out there for families.
6. Is there anything you would like to say to encourage others to volunteer for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford?
The need for volunteers is so great and as more will be needed as our population lives longer. I encourage anyone to consider giving 2 hours a week. We are provided with lots of education and support from the staff. Therefore there is no reason to fear either becoming a companion or just volunteering where needed.
Last Updated: 11/08/2017