Mothering Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always had a great deal of respect for elderly people. I have been considering trying to volunteer in a nursing home with my son (16 months).

Has anyone done this? Dh is concerned that ds could get sick, although it seems to me that most elderly people suffer from chronic, non-contagious illnesses. I would worry about ds getting people sick. He is vaccinated. Can't people with suppressed immune systems catch diseases if they're around vaxed kids?

I don't really know what we would do there. I used to work in an assisted living community and it brightened the resident's faces to see children. If anyone has experience with this, I would appreciate any input.

TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
Re:vaxes

The only ones that shed are the MMR and the CP so there is a small chance for a few weeks after receiving the shots. However, I woud think most older people have already acquired immunity to those diseases. If you want to play it safe, however, just don't take him in for a while after either of those shots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,337 Posts
DS and I have been volunteering every week since he was 9 months old (he is now 25 months)
And we LOVE it!!!

As far as getting sick, he has not gotten sick once from the nursing home. The one or two times he's been sick in his life it has been from playdates/ other kids (the pede office is the worst)
Our particular facility is VERY conservative about shutting the doors to outsiders if any client is seriously ill (flu or pnuemonia). There is a MUCH greater risk of your child getting one of them sick. We are VERY careful about NOT going if DS has even just a runny nose or has been around a friend who turned out to be sick. Or of course if mama is sick. I would never forgive myself if I got one of our frail older friends ill
:

The thing to watch out for is NEVER let your child have a taste of food or drink offered by a resident (because they often medicate their food/ drink to get it down eaier) and watch for stray pills on the floor that have been spit out.

But on the flip side -- we have formed some amazing relationships with some of the folks there. Some weeks I would get discouraged because DS wasn't "in" to it. Or because the residents would seem out of it. But then someone will light up when DS touches their hand, and say how much they look forward to seeing him come in and run and around. It makes it all worth while.

The place we go to has a GREAT activities director so we plan things that are fun for DS and the residents. The things that older folks battler Dimentia and Alzheimers needs are very simialr to a pre-school. Tactile, colorful, stimulating activities. So we do LOTS of crafts, ball play, music, cooking, etc. We sit one on one with some folks and help them make scrapbooks of their lives (which is ALWAYS so interesting) and we just sit and chat and walk around and give hugs and high fives to whoever wants it.

WARNING: It can be a tad depressing for the mama. DS LOVES it. The residents LOVE having him. But mama is the only one who understands the scope of their situation and sometimes suffering and it can get to you. Like seeing a husband and wife who have been married 60-some years with 6 kids and they don't even recognoze each other.
: But again, it's the joy your CHILD brings to them and vice versa that makes it worth it.

Our county has a program called "Pets On Wheels" that is the same idea for dogs, etc. That is how we got involved. Pets on Wheels has a sub-branch called "Mom and Me". Or you may be able to just find a place near you and talk to the activities director and set something up.

Have fun and keep us posted. It's great that your heart is so big that you're thinking of others mama!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,065 Posts
How do you get involved in something like this? Do you just call up a facility and ask if they have any volunteer programs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
EVC- Thanks for the info. I will keep those particular vaxes in mind.

Boatbaby- Thanks for the advice and shared experiences. I'm glad to hear you enjoy it along with the ups and downs. I'm going to go ahead with it soon. I'll post an update.

Snooter- That's what I was planning on doing. I figured I'd just call around for info.

Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
I have another option. I do something called respite care. Basically, I take my DS (27 months old) to someone's house and sit with a house-bound/bed-ridden person and give the primary caregiver a couple hours to themselves to recharge themselves. I have been doing this for 6 or 7 years (prior to having kids).

Up until Feb, I was sitting with a man in his early 80s. He was in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. Cory loved going over there. Unfortunately, his needs were too much for his wife (she was younger in her mid 60's) and she had to put him in a nursing home, so our sessions ended. However, we loved the family so much, we still go to the nursing home once a month to visit. All the residents of the nursing home love it when we visit. Cory is a little more apprehensive, but loves to sit with Dick. He is constantly trying to get Dick to sit on the floor with him (ha, ha) and play with trucks.

For the past month, we have been sitting with a women in her early 90s. Her son and DIL are taking care of her at home. She is blind and hard of hearing, but she likes to touch Cory. This is a little tougher for me because she cries a lot and really seems miserable. I try to give her some comfort, but there isn't a lot I can do. Cory doesn't understand that part so it doesn't upset him. I think he was afraid of her at first, but he has seem to warm up to her. He tries to touch her and will let her touch him for short periods of time.

The program is run through Catholic Social Services, but neither party has to be catholic. In fact, religion is not discussed at all. I found out about it from a flyer at the library.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,888 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by BamBam'sMom
EVC- Thanks for the info. I will keep those particular vaxes in mind.

Boatbaby- Thanks for the advice and shared experiences. I'm glad to hear you enjoy it along with the ups and downs. I'm going to go ahead with it soon. I'll post an update.

Snooter- That's what I was planning on doing. I figured I'd just call around for info.

Thanks!!
I worked as a kitchen aide in a nursing home for years, and then went on to be a nursing assistant in another nursing home. Then I became a nurse and worked in a hospital. I have a special place in my heart for the elderly too.
I would recommend you calling your local coucil on aging. They are always looking for volunteers to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I volunteer at one, and wanted to bring my son in, and seem to be hitting a wall with it. But I think its something against my gender so I wouldn't think it should be a problem elsewhere. Just ask someone in charge at the chosen nursing home when you'd like to volunteer (days you'd do it) and ask about if your child can come with. They'll take things from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,867 Posts
Having worked in NH's my concern would be for MRSA.Some places are not that good at keeping things clean,and noticing diseases in the residents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
I used to work at a nursing home (cook/dietician and then housekeeping). My children used to come in and volunteer. They did make it mandatory that all volunteers be tested for TB, so if you are against any of that you may want to check into it beforehand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,428 Posts
I volunteered at a nursing home before I had kids, and loved it. And for 5 years I was a NA in a nursing home, and they LOVED it when I brought DD#1 with me, it totally made their day!! Just call up any nursing home, and ask to talk to someone in charge of volunteering.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top