There’s a danger in our long term care system that the dignity and individuality of many seniors can be overlooked. Larger elements of care are provided, but attention to smaller consideration is too time-consuming. Often, its attention to ‘small stuff’ that provides the most dignity for those who seem forgotten.
Heather and John Collins are symbolic of countless volunteers who add so much to quality-of-life by ‘sweating the small stuff’ for those who can’t.
For over 25 years, Heather and John volunteered their time and friendship at Extendicare facilities in Peterborough and Lakefield. It’s faithfulness to ‘small things’ that make their contributions so meaningful. They’ve given of their time to accompany residents to physicians and hospital appointments as well as shopping trips and social outings, often using their own vehicle. The prospect of an outing for someone who is alone with mobility problems can be so daunting the chance to interact is often missed. John and Heather made a career of making certain no one is left out. Their faithfulness to little things includes bringing home-baked treats when they visit. They cheerfully repair small objects and do sewing repairs. John makes wood, and coloured-glass ornaments to brighten residents’ rooms, and Heather provides manicures for the ladies.
These are simple things, but are things that add so much to a sense of dignity.