SupportLink service invaluable
For Anne Beadle, having a weekly visit from a SupportLink volunteer makes the world of difference. Whether it’s getting to appointments, help with grocery shopping, visiting friends or simply having a cuppa and chat, Ann Beadle thoroughly looks forward to her weekly visit from her SupportLink volunteer.
For Anne it makes a huge difference.
‘‘It really gives me that peace of mind, that at a certain time and day once a week someone will be with you, for company, kindness, a laugh and a chat – it is wonderful,’’ she says.
Anne was introduced to the SupportLink service, which matches volunteers with elderly residents in the community, through SupportLink Wakatipu Coordinator Elaine Wells.
Volunteers are there on a weekly basis to assist elderly clients with a wide range of activities or tasks.
Anne’s current volunteer, Susan Morrison – originally from Arizona – has been volunteering with the service for six years and over that time has been matched with a number of clients.
‘‘I’ve always had a high regard and respect for the senior community, I just think that community can offer so much in educating all of us, and I was very close to my grandparents,’’ she said.
‘‘So I wanted to do something to help. I’ve learnt so much about the area and the history – I think it’s more of a win situation for me than it is for Anne!’’
It’s likely Anne would disagree with that – she eagerly anticipates each Wednesday and has the afternoon planned out each week.
More than being a service that allows Anne to get tasks done, it also provides valuable company and also peace of mind. The pair also visit Anne’s late husband’s gravesite at the local cemetery once a fortnight, bringing flowers.
‘‘My friend checks some of my letters, cards, or cheques that I have written are the right amount. I generally seal the envelopes then wonder if I’ve done the right thing, so it is a great help they give me,’’ she says.
Elaine says the SupportLink service is invaluable to a large number of clients; many of whom say they simply couldn’t stay in their own homes without it.
Volunteers were subject to a thorough screening process, which included police checks, she said.
DThe SupportLink service operates in Wakatipu, Invercargill and Gore.
Along with matching trained volunteers with older people living in their own home with a range of assistance, there are also monthly coffee groups and transport can be provided to these.
New volunteers for the SupportLink service are always welcome.
Visit www.enlivensld.nz to find out more.
If your family are far away, having peace of mind that at a certain time and day once a week someone will be with you, for company, kindness, a laugh and a chat – it is wonderful.
They also are a great help, taking me to the dentist, doctor and hair appointments, helping me get my groceries once a week and putting them away in the kitchen, visiting friends in hospital, going to the cemetery once a fortnight and doing the flowers there, checking some of my letters, cards, or cheques that I have written are the right amount. I generally seal the envelopes then wonder if I’ve done the right thing, so it is a great help they give me.
They are always with me when out as I get dizzy a little at times. Check toilets in case they are the computer kind – that’s no good for me.
In the winter months, after shopping we get home early and maybe ring up the fish and chip shop and order some – they have gluten free at the shop we go to. My friend will go and pick them up and sometimes we just sit and chat and try to put the world right.
We sort stamps for the church, knit, or chat about what we are going to do the next week. Maybe a lovely drive.
I thank God for being so lucky; to have a very good, kind friend, my helper.