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Retiring Into The Joyful World of Volunteering at BaptistCare

on the Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Walter and Gladys Rudolf, volunteers for 16 years at BaptistCare Morven Gardens in the Blue Mountains, share their experience of bringing joy to residents through craft, outings, events and music.

Back in 2001, when a family member became a resident at BaptistCare Morven Gardens, we began helping staff in the Fairholm Dementia unit, doing what we could with the time available to us.

On retirement, with more time on our hands, we wanted to do more to help the staff and residents throughout Morven Gardens. At first, we mainly assisted the chaplain: playing piano for the hymns; door knocking to invite the residents and make them aware of the service time; as well as helping them to get to and from the chapel.

Throughout the years, we have assisted the Centre’s Lifestyle Coordinator to produce a large number of events and activities for the residents. We have accompanied residents on bus trips and picnics, taken them Christmas shopping and to concerts, and joined celebrations at the Annual ‘Over 90’s Party’.

Our most memorable activity was assisting with the ‘Men’s Club’.

A group of enthusiastic residents worked together to create pieces using paddle pop sticks, glue, paint and other craft items they could find. These creations were sold at the Annual Morven Fair as a fundraiser to support ongoing activities at BaptistCare Morven Gardens. We especially enjoyed this project for the joy it brought to the residents; they were happy and proud of their achievement, and felt a real sense of working together to support their home.

Our involvement with Morven’s Fairholm dementia unit continues. We have run the ‘La La Choir’ there for 15 years, and each week we lead approximately one and a half hours of Music Therapy to residents living with dementia. We play percussion instruments, sing, and sometimes dance with them to the music of ‘old time’ songs and hymns. Laughter and fun is the theme of this time.

We thank Morven Gardens for allowing us to be involved in the lives of so many wonderful people. We have been inspired and enlightened by our time there, and we hope this continues. We encourage anyone who is thinking about volunteering at BaptistCare to get in touch with them, and begin the journey that has changed our lives.

Find out more about BaptistCare's retirement communities.

Find out more about volunteering with BaptistCare here.