Visit to Hillhaven

November 19, 2014

On November 5, 2014, I visited Hillhaven, which is an assisted living, nursing and rehabilitation center. When our group of volunteers arrived, the setting of the facility, was very calming and serene. Our SR volunteers were to be interacting with the seniors who had either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They were quiet initially, because they had just awoken from their sleep. So in order to wake them up a bit, I was assigned to help them exercise. I blew up two balloons, so that we could play balloon volleyball. They would hit the balloons with either their hand or with a swim noodle. The mood was lit with laughter after playing for a few minutes, because not only was it fun for us, but also for them. Some were slower than others to hit the balloons, however, there were a lot of people who were agile and hit the balloons with a lot of force. We tried to encourage them when they did make a great hit or we would let them try again when they missed the balloon. After the volleyball game was over, to calm down, we played a smelling game. We had different seasonings in their container, and lift their top so that the seniors could smell the aroma of spice. It was entertaining to listen to all the guesses that were either close or way off the mark when it came to being correct. I must admit those smells were hard for even me to guess. Then when we were finished playing the guessing game, we listened to music on the boom box. The volunteers passed out musical instruments, and played along to the music. It was enjoyable to here all of trying to play the beat of  the music. When asking the volunteers, why they chose Hillhaven for a Social Action Pamela Lawrence, stated,“ The reason why I picked this site is because this is a very peaceful place, and the people here are sweet and fun to be around.” Aarthi Reddy also commented, “The workers here are very nice, and helpful.” Hillhaven is a place where the staff is welcoming and they support the seniors in everything they do.  Putting a smile on someone else’s face was fun that day, because at that site we see the people we had some sort of impact on. But the lesson that we received from the seniors was that we can have fun, no matter what age we are.

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