Car­ing for the el­derly

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Lo­cal vol­un­teers Elvie Hem­phill and Julie O’Brien have clocked up 70 years of ded­i­ca­tion to Fin­ley Re­gional Care be­tween them.

Serv­ing 40 years and 30 years with the ser­vice re­spec­tively, both women were hon­oured at a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion last week.

Mrs Hem­phill, 81, is known among res­i­dents for her singing and helps run the church ser­vices on Thurs­days — and en­joys singing in them too.

She also goes to FRC once a month to per­form with fel­low mu­si­cians Keith Haidle and Anne Orro.

Mrs Hem­phill said it all started in 1972 when she joined the lo­cal band with her fam­ily and per­formed in the car­ols.

She then de­cided to sing more with the res­i­dents.

‘‘We used to have car­ols ev­ery year and I joined the band be­cause my fam­ily was all in the band,’’ she said.

‘‘The first home was built on the Deni Road and we had a Pleas­ant Sun­day Af­ter­noon each month, at which I would sing.

‘‘Even af­ter they moved the old peo­ple’s home to Ulupna Lodge, I would still be part of the band and would al­ways sing for the res­i­dents.

‘‘I en­joy com­ing along and singing. Keith plays the gui­tar and Anne plays the pi­ano once a month.

‘‘Ev­ery Thurs­day there’s a church ser­vice and it’s my job to sing along with the res­i­dents.

‘‘This en­cour­age them to sing along as well.

‘‘I just en­joy singing and talk­ing to the peo­ple. I knew a few of the res­i­dents in the first home and you get to know the oth­ers af­ter that.

‘‘It’s great for them to sit down, lis­ten to the mu­sic and en­gage with us.’’

Mrs Hem­phill is well known for her com­mu­nity work, and has pre­vi­ously re­ceived the Fin­ley Ro­tary En­cour­age­ment Award in 1993 and Ci­ti­zen of Dis­tinc­tion in 2011.

Mrs O’Brien, 66, is one of FRC’s hair­dressers and said she’s been cater­ing for older clients for 34 years.

‘‘It all started when my mother-in-law was work­ing at Ulupna Lodge,’’ she said.

‘‘Back then I had to bring all of my equip­ment and there wasn’t a salon fa­cil­ity; I had to sham­poo in the laun­dry.

‘‘So when they moved here it was won­der­ful be­cause we now have two sa­lons.

‘‘Ladies like to have their hair done and some are used to hav­ing it done once a week. Just be­cause you’re old doesn’t mean you can’t look af­ter your­self.

‘‘It’s very re­ward­ing but I like to think they’ve come out of their room and done some­thing, and it’s made them happy.

‘‘They love chat­ting about fam­ily, but at the mo­ment the big topic is Christ­mas.

‘‘There was one res­i­dent who would joke with me ev­ery week, af­ter do­ing her hair she would say ‘it’s pretty good I won’t make you do it again’.’’

Mrs O’Brien also does craft with the res­i­dents, in­clud­ing card mak­ing.

‘‘It takes a lot a prepa­ra­tion and the co­or­di­na­tor Wendy Sut­ton does a won­der­ful job.

‘‘I have grand­chil­dren and ev­ery time they come to visit they al­ways want to go to re­gional care.

‘‘Of­ten they’ll help with the card mak­ing day. It’s ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful to see my grand­chil­dren and res­i­dents have so much joy from it.’’

Cyn­thia Os­born (left) and vol­un­teer Elvie Hem­phill singing to­gether.

RIGHT: Vol­un­teer Julie O’Brien helps Fin­ley Re­gional Care res­i­dent Dorothy Cameron with her hair.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.