This month, I had the opportunity to volunteer at a retirement home to play bingo through the ALDPES Honors Fraternity. This was an experience that put me out of my comfort zone. The only experience that I have had with the older population was with my own grandparents. I was very nervous because I was not sure how the residents were going react with me being there. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.
As soon as we got there, all the residents were very welcoming and each of the volunteers were at a different table. The ladies at the table were very kind and very ready to play for bingo. Each lady had two boards in front of them and ready to win. In between calls, we chatted about the activities that we enjoyed doing and how our days were. The friendship between the ladies was inspiring of how much they cared and took care of each other. They told me that each day was a blessing because of the people surrounding them.
One unique experience that I had volunteering was when I actually had a Bingo. I was too embarrassed to shout Bingo because I was afraid that they would be mad at me. So lady next me took my card and try to get my prize for me. We later found out that that was not allowed. Thankfully I did not lose my Bingo privileges.
All in all, I am very happy that I volunteered and I am looking forward to volunteering again very soon. The older populations have so much to share about their experiences. It is now a goal of mine to sometime in my career and future to make it a priority work with the older population as well.
— Sara Loerch, Sophomore, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences