__ April 2014
I did not know what to expect from my first visit to a nursing home in Pittsburg, Kansas. It was one snowy day and I volunteered to spend time with older folks in this home for the seniors. We sang Christmas song, prayed with them and ate ice cream.
The first thought that came to my mind was my grandfather. He had passed away only a few weeks before my visit. It gave me an idea what it must be like for him to live in a nursing home, the condition, and the company he is with on a daily basis. In chatting with the senior residents, I learned how much wisdom they have about life. It was very interesting to listen about what they used to do. Some of them were accomplished professionals in their time and they have some quite strong opinion on certain situation or issues. I was surprised how much I can learn from them just by sitting and having a chat with them.
However, at one point, I also felt so sad. I learned that some of them do not get a visit, even from their own family. It must be very lonesome to reach that age and not have any family around you anymore. I imagined myself in their shoes and how I would feel if my own family does not seem to care about me anymore to even remember to visit. I felt compelled to spend more time with them to cheer them up even for a little while.
Towards the end of our group’s visit, I had mixed feelings. I suppose in general, I was happy because I sensed how happy the residents were with our visit. It made a difference in their day, having new people to talk to and share their thoughts.