Right Place at the Right Time
“I love the newspaper,” says Barbara Bowling. “I read it cover to cover every day.”
That’s lucky for us, because it was in her favorite newspaper that Barbara Bowling first heard of Crossroads Hospice. “There was a blurb in the Dayton Daily that Crossroads Hospice was seeking volunteers. That got me thinking,” she recalls. “I have so much respect for hospice. I’m retired. I’ve got time. So I gave them a call.”
“Barbara came to us at V-Day, our volunteer appreciation event,” Crossroads Hospice Volunteer Manager Doree McBride remembers. “She’s very energetic and loves to learn. She has even gone to a symposium with us so she could learn more about caring for Alzheimer’s patients.”
Crossroads Hospice offers a wide variety of ways to volunteer, so Barbara had the opportunity to find the right fit.
“I didn’t want to work with pets. I didn’t want to do office work. I wanted to visit patients, but I have a terrible sense of direction, so we determined that I would visit patients in three long-term-care facilities in my area. One is right across from my favorite shopping center in the whole wide world, so I can do a little shopping after my visits. It makes for a nice day,” Barbara explains.
Barbara is currently visiting with six patients for Crossroads Hospice, two women and four men. “One woman just turned 80 in September; another recently celebrated her 107th birthday,” she says. “I feel so good and so useful just to be able to talk to them and make them laugh. You can dwell on them being sick, but they already know, so why do that?”
Barbara visits with patients at least once a week.
“One of the gentlemen I visit is an absolute flirt! His wife is always there. One day, his wife told him, ‘Barbara said that you’ve been flirting with her! But don’t worry, I’m not mad at you, honey,” Barbara laughs.
She confesses, “I’ve never done anything like this before, and I’ve had friends ask how I can do it. But it’s so rewarding! I’ve learned how to talk to the people and how to listen and when to do each. Sometimes you listen and sometimes you talk. It’s only sad if you let it be. Those people give more to me than I what I could ever give to them.”
Our next V-Day event is coming up in April, but you don’t need to wait for V-Day to join our team of Ultimate Givers. Complete the contact form on Facebook and a Volunteer Manager will be in touch with opportunities in your area.
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