Laima and Jeane

By: cultureofcare

May 16 2011

Category: Volunteers experience

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Aperture:f/2.8
Focal Length:6.1mm
ISO:100
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot G10

I started visiting Jeane one year ago. I try to visit her as much as I can, but it’s usually only once a week. This has been my first experience with the elderly. And it has actually been a good one.

It is healthy and makes me think about more than just how poor she is and how lucky I am… It makes me think about how society insists on individuality… It makes me think about what really matters, about how the different generations live so independently from one another. The thing is that although it doesn’t sound like a joyful experience, Jeane is actually quite funny. She tells funniest stories. If you ever go to see her with your fingernails painted red she will tell you that you have prostitute nails and proceed to call you ‘Prostitute Nails’ from then on. I quite enjoy her sense of humour.

I give her my time, company, someone to talk to, someone to abuse. Sometimes I’ll find her in a bad mood and I’ll do my best to help her through it. My favourite moments with her are when she smiles or when she laughs. Or when she might say something moody but then she looks at you and smiles.

Volunteering expands your horizons. You realize there is still life outside the bubble of professional London life.

Old people are the experienced ones and our roles should be for them to speak and for us to listen. And one day we will be them. We have to take care of all of us.

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