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Volunteering with McKenzie Aged Care

How Volunteers Bridge the Gap in Aged Care Facilities – A Look into McKenzie Aged Care Group’s Experience

Many residents in aged care facilities can feel isolated and disconnected from the world around them. Volunteers can provide a bridge between the facility and the broader community, helping residents stay connected and engaged. Moreover, the benefits of volunteering are not one-sided. Volunteers gain a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and fulfilment from their work, knowing they are making a positive impact on the lives of others. Volunteers also play a significant role in creating a sense of community and belonging for residents.

McKenzie Aged Care Group tell us about their experience with volunteers and the impact it can have on their residents.

Volunteers Marilyn and Diane

VGC: Tell us a little bit about McKenzie and the services you provide.

McKenzie: McKenzie Aged Care Group/ Bolton Clarke provides beautiful homes for our residents.  We have onsite kitchens, 24/7 registered nurses, hairdressing, onsite laundries, beautifully landscaped gardens and robust activity programs.  Our lifestyle social activity programs are always generated to engage residents in a variety of social, emotional, spiritual, and physical programs that support and challenge them.  Our weekly bus outings are always full and residents are keen to go on a multitude of adventures.  Our favourite one currently is Riding without Age at Paradise Point.  The sense of freedom and adventure that the residents feel when going on the tri-shaws is amazing.  Their smiles really do emulate the joy and sense of freedom that they experience.

How have you seen volunteering help your organisation? Or can you describe a time when a challenge was overcome with the help of volunteers?

We have been very fortunate to have amazing volunteers that continue to support not only the lifestyle program, and our facilities, but also individual residents and their families.   A wonderful example is our volunteer Bea.  Bea joined us at the end of 2022 as a Christian Devotions facilitator. Bea is an Anglican Chaplin and has extensive work and volunteer experience in this role.  Bea provides a weekly service for our residents, one of whom had a terminal diagnosis, and was unable to attend the group session.  Bea visited with him weekly, and he was comforted by her spiritual support.  His family attended the weekly group devotions and was equally comforted by her support of them and their father.  This spiritual support at the end of life was very important to this resident and his family, and we were grateful to be in a position to offer it – without this volunteer – they may not have had the depth of spiritual support they needed.

Freddie the Pet Therapy volunteer

Our craft ladies that volunteer twice a week provide terrific projects for the craft group to complete – some of their items go into the cupboard for sale (which is admired by all), their craft works have been entered into the Gold Coast Show and the Mudgeeraba Show for judging and have won ribbons and cash prizes.

Freddie is a weekly Pet Therapy volunteer who brightens the lives of all our residents that he visits – they love having a pat and a cuddle with Freddie.

Why is it important to support Volunteering?

Volunteering provides an opportunity to bring the community into our homes.   To connect residents with people who are not paid to be here, who are here because they CHOOSE to be.  Volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that we are very fortunate enough to be able to share with our residents.   Having volunteers allow us to expand our program of activities,  allows us to further support residents and their families, and increases the possibilities of residents engaging with more people and creating relationships/friendships.

Volunteering can be a life-changing experience, allowing individuals to connect with others, gain new skills and perspectives, and make a difference in their community. It provides an opportunity to step outside of oneself and contribute to something. And for those who may be feeling disconnected or lacking purpose, volunteering can provide a sense of belonging and fulfilment.

Don’t hesitate to contact Volunteering Gold Coast to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved in places like McKenzie Aged Care Facilities.  

To view and apply for volunteering positions at McKenzie we have numerous different locations available: The Terraces Aged Care, Raffles Aged Care, Heritage Lodge Aged Care, and Sandbrook Aged Care

 

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