LETTER: Seeking fulfillment? Try caregiving

With its mild climate and naturally beautiful and relaxing environment, Vancouver Island attracts more and more retirees to enjoy the rest of their life here. Many are financially stable, especially in Parksville Qualicum Beach, a community with a large population of seniors and the longest lifespan in Canada.

From a caregiver’s point of view,the quality of a person’s final stage of life is determined not only by care, but by the care-receiver’s heart, a heart that deeply understands and appreciates the caregivers’ role. With this heart, the care-receiver will become much more easy-going; be able to enjoy each moment of care through positive interactions; and measure the caregivers’ hard work by heart, not by money. Appreciation itself is a positive emotion which can enhance everyone’s health.

How does one obtain this kind of appreciative heart? If there is no other chance to give care to somebody, the best way is to volunteer as a caregiver in a community long-term care facility. Spending a few hours each week can be very rewarding.

Some people may feel stress in this type of environment. Indeed, caregiving is one of the most stressful professions. That’s why it’s the best way to nurture an appreciative heart. Volunteers will also enjoy many varieties of wisdom, humour and amusement from the staff.

In order to finish the last few steps of a long life journey with quality, dignity, fulfilment and happiness, a good experience as a caregiver or volunteer caregiver is valuable.

Island Health’s Volunteer Resources team has close to 7,000 volunteers supporting patients in acute, residential and community programs. For more information about volunteering, contact Melissa Ketler, Island Health Volunteer Resources Manager for Parksville Qualicum Beach, at Melissa.Ketler@viha.ca.

Hilary He, Volunteer

Island Health

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