After caring for my mother with dementia, I decided to take a career change from insurance and worked at the dementia respite centre “Rosemary House” at Arundel on the Gold Coast for almost a decade. My mother had spent time here in the early 2000’s when she was first diagnosed.
After retiring at 65 three years ago, I had some extra time on my hands and wanted to make a difference so I decided to come back as a volunteer.
I come along to the centre every Wednesday and Friday and help the staff facilitate different activities such as putt putt, board games, helping out with the men’s shed, as well as playing and dancing to music.
Every volunteer shift is different and it depends on the clients in on that day on what you can do.
I really love coming here as Rosemary House gives people with dementia a sense of still being able to do something, it gives them worth and a sense of belonging.
Having had a personal experience with dementia, I know how important the break is for a carer too, so respite centres such as Rosemary House are really essential. The clients are happy when they are here and they smile a lot too.
It is great to feel like I am giving something back. Rosemary House gave me a lot of help when my mother had dementia. I get a lot of fun out of coming here too.
If you are thinking about volunteering and like helping people, don’t hesitate. Just do it. I get a great amount of personal satisfaction out of it.