Recognising our aged care volunteers
To celebrate International Volunteer Day, Bupa recognises one of our incredible aged care volunteers.
Connie Cunningham has always been passionate about helping others live happy and healthy lives and giving back to the community. She has spent most of her adult-life helping people - through her career as an audiometrist, during her time as an active Rotarian, and now in her volunteer work.
Every Wednesday for the past four years, Connie has volunteered her time and skills at the Bupa care home in Eastwood (near Bairnsdale, Eastern Victoria), spending time with residents living with dementia.
She plays games of ‘balloon tennis’ or skittles to encourage residents to stay active, work on their coordination, and most importantly, to have fun.
"The games get the residents moving, stretching, laughing and having fun. Sometimes they surprise themselves, and me, with how they can move during the games," Connie said.
“If they’re not in the mood for games, we’ll just sit around and chat. They tell me stories from their younger years – one resident was a fireman, one was a salesman, they all have great stories to tell," said Connie.
Connie is part of a group of dedicated local volunteers at Bupa Eastwood who lend their skills, passion and time to run activities for residents at the home such as barbecues, games, visits with therapy dogs, outings and tai chi.
Along with her work at Bupa, Connie also volunteers with Riding for the Disabled every week. And since retiring ten years ago, Connie has helped to open up an audiometry clinic in Nepal, which she still regularly visits.
Kathryn McHenry, General Manager of the Bupa Eastwood home said the contribution of these volunteers was extremely valuable to the overall wellbeing of residents.
“We are so grateful to have an incredible group of caring and passionate volunteers who regularly visit our Eastwood home. We work closely with volunteers to plan activities that promote social interaction, inclusion and benefit both the mental and physical health of our residents.
“The residents get so much joy out of spending time with the volunteers and participating in the activities, they're such an important part of our Eastwood community,” said Kathryn.
Thursday 5 December is International Volunteer Day. The 2019 theme is ‘Volunteer for an inclusive future’, highlighting the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.
Bupa thanks all our volunteers across the country for the passion, joy and care they bring to our aged care residents.