Stan Roberts’ world has evolved around his wife, Dorothy for the last 28 years they have been married.
So, in the way that carers deeply understand, he felt heart-broken but also hugely relieved when she moved into Uniting AgeWell Kalkee Community Nangatta towards the end of 2021 after her dementia worsened.
And now that he’s living in an independent unit on his own, Stan’s world still revolves around her. Only in her new home.
As well as visiting Dorothy, he’s taken up volunteering there two days a week: helping staff during busy meal times and also being involved with activities for residents. The 80-year-old even brings along the saxophone he’s been playing since he was a teenager, and performs old favourites for everyone.
It’s National Volunteer Week, (May 15-21) and time to give our heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers, like Stan, for their endless work and tireless energy in enriching the lives of older people in our community.
The theme for this year is The Change Makers which celebrates the power to drive change and ensure volunteering is inclusive of all members of the Australian community.
Uniting AgeWell CEO Andrew Kinnersly says, ”this theme rings true for us, where inclusion is a core value underpinning everything we do. With a long history of volunteer support, Uniting AgeWell’s services have grown and flourished; a vital contribution we recognise and appreciate.”
Stan, a retired computer whiz, is quick to admit that volunteering adds purpose to his days.
“It’s very rewarding listening to the residents’ stories about their lives,” he says. “Dementia is a very cruel disease, and it is a privilege to spend time with people and know that I am bringing some joy to their day and making a difference.”
Stan also sees firsthand how well Dorothy is being looked after. “The staff are incredibly kind and supportive,” he says. “They go out of their way to make sure all the residents are not only doing well, but are happy.”
Stan dreads the day that Dorothy no longer recognises him. But that will be even more reason for him to continue volunteering and to bring purpose and meaning to his life as well as that of older people.
There are a wide range of volunteering opportunities available at Uniting AgeWell.
Click the link below or call 13 93 75 to see how you too can enrich the lives of older people – and your own!Find out more about volunteering with Uniting AgeWell