Volunteer Spotlight- Sue Shifley
“Interacting with the residents brings me so much joy, and I find volunteering with them very rewarding,” says Sue while sitting next to Helen, a resident she is assisting. After volunteering for almost a year, Sue Shifley has helped in multiple capacities at St. John’s Home. Since losing her mother she greatly missed their weekly visits. Sue loves the elderly population and knew she could give back in a meaningful way.
Sue has become the go-to volunteer for anything our residents might need. “My favorite days are the special events,” says Sue, “the summer was filled with courtyard picnics and I helped transport and assist residents.” Sue loves all the musical events as well. “Old-fashioned music is so calming, and I enjoy seeing how music positively affects the residents.”
A unique opportunity for Sue is “friendly visits.” These one-on-one sessions with residents allow for mutual companionship and help to combat loneliness. She explained that the staff make known to Volunteer Services when a resident might not see too many visitors during the week in order to facilitate the resident’s connection to a volunteer. Admittedly Sue misses the interaction with her own parents and grandparents and finds comfort in these conversations with residents. “It is a chance to go deeper with them, and find out more about the residents past and personality.” While chatting in the courtyard, Rose, a resident at St. John’s says, “It’s all about love,” while smiling in Sue’s direction. “I enjoy coming here, the residents are amazing and the staff goes above and beyond,” says Sue in response to Rose’s fitting comment.
We are very fortunate to have volunteers like Sue who make a positive impact on our residents’ quality of life. Volunteer opportunities can look different for each person at St. John’s. We all have unique abilities and talents that benefit senior residents. If you are interested in making a difference like Sue, please call at 760-1293 or email Sandy Ferguson in Volunteer Services.