Staying engaged and mobile are pivotal keys to growing older happily and thanks to IMPACT Community Services, Dawn Fleming gets to do both.
Dawn has reaped the rewards of IMPACT’s Community Visitors Scheme program for about three months and is happy with the companionship.
“I enjoy the visits very much,” Dawn said.
Walking is an enjoyable pastime for Dawn, but she said it presents its own challenges.
“If someone comes along on a skateboard, I don’t know they’re coming, and they’re on top of you before you know it,” she said.
Volunteer Tahlia Facer visits Dawn weekly and joins her on walks to the corner shop, watering and pruning the plants in her greenhouse, sitting and talking together, or playing Rummikub.
Rummikub is a game where each player draws 14 lettered tiles to form words.
The first word made by each player must have at least seven characters, after which smaller words can be made.
“I’m learning new words from Tahlia which is a help,” Dawn said.
And, according to Tahlia, Dawn is not the only one learning a thing or two.
“I had never played the game before, so I get to learn new things from Dawn as well,” Tahlia said.
“I think the game is supposed to be played competitively, with each word accumulating points, but we don’t keep a tally and often help each other make words with the letters we have left over.
“It really is a nice way to spend an afternoon.”
Tahlia said the opportunity presented a window of solitude in an often-busy life.
“Visiting Dawn, I get to take an hour for myself while simultaneously giving someone my time – it’s a win-win,” she said.
Tahlia is fortunate that her employer pays two hours a month towards volunteering.
“All I need to volunteer is two hours of my own time and I get to see Dawn for an hour each week,” she said.
“And it is true what Community Visitors Scheme Program Facilitator Heather (Hinsbey) says, ‘it’s not a job, it’s a joy’.”
IMPACT is encouraging Bundaberg Regions residents to ‘uncover your superhero within by visiting an elderly person’.
For more information phone IMPACT’s Community Visitors Scheme facilitator Heather Hinsbey on 4153 4233 or 0448 035 891.