Karen Neil supports vital services in Cairns
While I was studying Aged Care at Tafe in Cairns, I saw an advertisement for volunteers for Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) on a noticeboard at a local shopping centre.
There were two lovely ladies in the office when I walked into the support centre.
The staff were very experienced in their knowledge about dementia. I learnt so much from them and I’m still learning about dementia after a year at the centre.
Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) Cairns provides support, education and information for those living with dementia, their carer’s and family.
I have met some wonderful people who come along to the support group every Wednesday. It is lovely to hear the chatter and laughter of clients when they walk into the centre that they are looking forward to participating and catching up with the other members who come along.
It is like an extended family for me and everyone, staff included, go away at the end of the day with a big smile on their faces. They always let us know that they will be back the following week. There has been an increase in numbers in our support group and also drop in enquires.
I volunteer two days a week, I would like to come every day, however due to work commitments I am unable to do so. Two new volunteers have joined the centre and their experience and contribution is greatly appreciated by all. I would like to have more volunteers so we can go out into the community to provide information and support on Dementia Awareness.
Some of my duties are answering the phone, data entry, assisting our only staff member, creating activities for the support group and drop in enquires.
I work part–time at a residential aged care facility and I care for people living with dementia, so I see the need for support for them and their families and this is what motivates me to learn as much as I can about dementia.
I would encourage anyone who has a few hours to spare to volunteer, it is so rewarding and you meet some wonderful people. Dementia affects so many people of all ages and walks of life. Giving ongoing support for persons living with dementia, their carer’s and family hopefully enables them to continue their journey knowing that they are not alone.
From everyone at Alzheimer's Australia (Qld) we want to say a huge THANK YOU to Karen, and all of our other hard working volunteers across the state - we couldn't do it without you!
If you are interested in volunteering for us, please click here for more information.