Bessie volunteers three days a week and has been with Parafield Gardens for four and a half years.
‘I first started volunteering with Meals on Wheels when my youngest child got married. When I started volunteering here, I didn’t really know anything about residential aged care and I didn’t have much experience with older people. I came to Adelaide when I was 15 years old and my grandparents stayed in Croatia. So, I didn’t grow up having those kinds of relationships in my life.’ says Bessie.
‘My first experience spending time with people living with dementia left me feeling quite sad. Since then, I have learned so much and have a lot more understanding. Now these experiences are joyful. We play games, we talk and share stories.
‘When I was home with COVID-19 (which I caught from my husband not Parafield Gardens!), I couldn’t wait to get better and come back. I am so happy to be here, this is my happy place. It may sound strange to say this, but it feels like I am spending time with the grandparents I never really grew up with and being able to have that connection.
‘Every day, I walk in and feel like am with my family. I am always asking myself ‘What can I do to bring happiness here? What else can I give?’
Return to News