For almost three years, Joseph has spent six hours every Friday at The Salvation Army Glenbrook Lodge in St. John’s, NL, wheeling residents from their rooms to the in-house beauty salon.
The salon, located down a long corridor, can be a difficult trek for those with mobility issues.
“It’s in a small area and you have to organize people in their chairs and keep moving them around so they don’t feel like they’ve been left alone,” said Joseph.
Residents find that the salon adds a sense of normalcy to their daily routine, and many look forward to trying out a new ‘do’ and chatting with the hair stylist.
For Joseph, the real benefit is bringing smiles to faces of seniors.
“It’s important that I smile and be happy when I visit. Sometimes I joke with them, hum or sing. If I notice a smile on their face and I’ve had a part in that, then that’s good enough for me.”
In addition to taking residents to appointments, Joseph also helps out however he can, whether that means fixing pianos, maintaining the garden or repairing broken items.
A retired educator of 46 years, Joseph volunteers as a way of saying thanks for the care that his 99-year-old mother received from the lodge before she passed away in 2012.
“The care Glenbrook provided to her was excellent—I could tell by the big smile on her face,” Joseph explained. “I knew there was something about the Lodge that went beyond providing health care. I wanted to do something in return.”
If you would like to join Eastern Health’s team of volunteers, please contact the volunteer office at (709) 777-4451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.easternhealth.ca/give to learn more! ■
SPECIAL TO STORYLINE: This story was written by Melissa Yue Wallace, features editor and staff writer with the Salvation Army.