A Melbourne-based group is looking for Greek-speaking volunteers to spend time with elderly Greeks.
The importance of speaking in their native language is believed to have a positive impact on the elderly.
The organization, MiCare, has set up the Community and Friendly Visiting program in hopes that volunteers will visit the elders in their homes, spending time reading books, playing games, or going out for a cup of coffee.
“Those suffering from dementia tend to revert to their original language and memories associated with their homeland. Say for members of the Greek community, it helps a lot if a Greek-speaking person can visit them so they can talk about places and things from the past, because sometimes this is all they remember,” Julie Trutsch, the organization’s social support coordinator explained to Neos Kosmos.
The program is meant to enrich both the elderly and the volunteer’s lives.
“If people can visit someone weekly or fortnightly they might end up building a relationship with them. I have volunteers who visit someone for years and they don’t see it as doing a service anymore, but rather like seeing a friend or family and that’s always a level of interaction we welcome when it happens,” Trutsch said.
There are eight people on MiCare’s waiting list for Greek-speaking volunteer companions. Their locations are: Bulleen, Hawthorn East, Rye, Mulgrave, Coburg, Glen Waverley, Reservoir and South Melbourne.
If you are interested in volunteering for the program, contact the organization at 1800 642 273 or email Julie Trutsch directly at [email protected]