Lending a Listening Ear for 25 years

CatholicCare Community Visitor Shirley Reiken is retiring after spending 25 years brightening the lives of elderly aged care residents.

 Shirley belongs to CatholicCare's Community Visitors Scheme which offers regular companionship to aged care residents to improve their quality of life and lower their risk of social isolation.

The theme of National Volunteers Week 2018 is 'Give a little, Change a lot' and for Shirley, this could not be more fitting. "All we are giving is a little bit of our time, but the people we visit end up getting so much more out of it.

They feel like they haven't been forgotten and they aren't alone. I like to think we do really change somebody's life," said Shirley.

After 25 years Community visitor Shirley Reiken is retiring and with the need for more volunteers, Shirley recommends giving volunteering a go with CatholicCare

Shirley started volunteering in 1994 and realised how difficult it is for elderly residents to adjust after being in their own home and suddenly being placed in care.

"You meet really unique people and can cheer them up or make them feel more at ease. I like to think that if you have done that, you really have made a difference to their life."

To those who are thinking about volunteering, Shirley believes you should just give it a go. "It is a great way of giving back to the community, and I like to think that if myself or anyone in my family needed someone to talk to, someone would be there to reciprocate somewhere along the line."

For more information about volunteering with CatholicCare call 4227 1122 or visit http://www.catholiccare.dow.org.au/https://cathcare-uat.webcoda.net.au/get-involved/volunteer/