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My Place of Learning Service Community Service

Essay by   •  December 9, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,820 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,601 Views

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A. Why is there a need for your service at your site?

My place of learning service community service takes place at the small residence of Meadow Brookes Nursing Home in Hannibal, New York. I attend this nursing home once a week with my fellow learning service students; we play games and do crafts with many of the elders that reside there.. I feels as if there is a need for me at my placement because these elders feel left out of the world, they feel as if just because they got older that no one cares about them which is clearly not true in our case. The other students and I go to show them that they still matter and they aren't forgotten about. Whenever we walk through the door we can see that their face lights up with excitement knowing we came just for them. They are always eager to see what we have to bring for them to make or play just because this time is all about them. When talking with them during this time one elder named Faye, told me she's always so excited for our time because it gives her a chance to really talk to someone and know that we are all about listening to her, it's her "me time" as she says it. For a lot of these elders we are the only visitors they get, their families put them in a home and left them there for other people to take care of, less of a burden for them I guess. That's why I feel as if I fill a void that these elders have, they know I come to see them and it really lets them know that they matter to someone still. They know I am a college student and they also know it's getting towards the end of my semester meaning it's a stressful time. They really appreciate what we do, knowing that we take time out of our lives just to put a smile on someone else's face other than our own. I'm not going to lie; it's such a satisfying feeling knowing that I brighten someone's day. I know it's sad to say but society usually forgets about the elders and focuses more on the younger generations, I really do feel as if I make a difference in their lives, and that's why I plan to continue going even after my learning service task is over. Not only do I feel as if I've made an impact on them, but they have most certainly made a serious impact on my life.

B. How has your orientation to or opinion about this issue (from part A) changed through the service-learning experience?

One of the major underlying societal problems in the world today is that some of these elders are really forgotten about; they are put away sheltered from the world as if they are a burden to society. I don't know why some people feel as if when you get older you are not welcome to the community they you have once formed just because you have gotten too old to take care of yourself. I feel as individuals going to put a smile on these elders face are a good start to fixing the problem, everyone knows that every little bit helps. The next step would be to get the entire community involved, getting the community involved would really bring up the spirits of these elders. Knowing that the community that they grew up in hasn't forgotten about them would be a great thing to know why you're "put away" in a nursing home. Every little thing that the people, community and government do could potentially impact this societal problem in a positive way. I have learned so much from going to spend time with these elders, which has so far totaled twenty hours, this only being the start. I have learned what all these elders used to do with their lives, who they married, how many kids they have, what they did for a living and most important how they overall feel about their lives. These elders have taught me so much not only about them but about myself; they have shown me that just because they have grown in age doesn't mean they have lost their young spirit. Knowing this I feel as if more people would try to involve themselves with elder people's lives. Most stereotype elders and slow, not with it, incapable people but they are so much more than that. The people I have worked with and have gotten to know are very lively, up to beat and loud people, I would have to say over the semester they have kept me very entertained during my visits and made every one worthwhile. This knowledge can lead me to inform people about such elders in hopes to promote more involvement within the community.

C. How did your experiences working with others (staff, other volunteers, and people at the site)...

During this past semester I have been in contact with all sorts of different people that I normally would have never met unless I took part in the Learning Service program which includes other volunteers, staff, and most importantly elders at the site. I won't lie, some of the girls I volunteer with I would have never expected myself to be friends with, were all from different "clich├ęs", different parts of campus and even different countries. I can honestly say that I would have never went up and started a conversation with any of these girls because we were so different but learning services has shown me that just because others seem completely different than me doesn't mean they are. I realized is good to have different groups of friends and that with all our differences we have many similarities, which includes caring about our elders. I have also grown a very strong bond with the elders themselves; we have shared secrets with each other over the past few weeks that have made our knowledge of each other so much better. I have grown so much as a person by getting to know these elders, it has really brought out characteristics of myself that I don't think I would have ever seen if I hadn't had done this volunteer service. Volunteering once a week has made me realize how a little effort can go a long way, and improve myself while doing it. Another group of people I would have never come in counter with are the staff from Meadow Brookes Nursing Home. I never realized that their job is more than a job to them. While talking to one of the main night time nurses I was told that each individual elder brightens her day, every day, in their own way. Whether it was just talking to them or helping them with their daily problems, she always had a smile on her face because of them. I was also told that al the staff appreciates what we do on Wednesdays nights, they have said the elders are less argumentative after we leave. Just makes everything we do worthwhile.

A. How do the people you help view their situation?

As I've said previously I work with the elders at Meadow Brookes Nursing Home, and as much as I have to say it, they really don't have a choice about where they are placed at a certain age. They can live



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