Volunteers are needed to brighten the life of senior citizens living in Utah County nursing homes through the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
Lorri Hirst, Volunteers Center director, said volunteers are matched up with nursing home residents who have similar interests and would like someone to visit.Once the volunteer is matched, the program requires that the volunteer visit the "grandparent" a minimum of one hour each week. This time can be spent visiting, playing board games, helping with an activity or reading to the resident.
"Although many of the residents have family living nearby, they still feel like they would like some extra company and friendship," commented Hirst. The Adopt-a-Grandparent program helps to provide this.
"The Adopt-a-Grandparent program is a great way for whole families as well as individuals to get involved in voluntarism. It is a very flexible program and time-wise can fit into almost everyone's schedule."
One recreation therapist said the volunteers that participate in the Adopt-a-Grandparent program are a vital part of the nursing home because they develop personal relationships so necessary to maintaining the patient's social skills.
"These volunteers can also have great insight to the patient's needs and wants," she said. "Many times the patient may share something with the volunteer that he may not with the staff."
Other community volunteer opportunities include:
-Volunteers are needed to work one four-hour shift each week at the Battered Women's Shelter, answering the hotline and helping the women and children in the shelter. Volunteers must attend three training sessions starting in May before they begin work.
-Senior citizens are needed to become volunteer receptionists at the new state Social Services Building. Volunteers answer questions and direct clients to individual caseworkers. Volunteers work at least one four-hour shift each week.
For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.