This past summer, we spent a lot of time volunteering at Aegis Living, a senior assisted living and memory care facility in Corte Madera. Because we have volunteered with many children over the last several years, we chose to spend the summer with the elderly.
Our days at Aegis were spent doing many different things. Two evenings a week we helped host their "Happy Hour". It was fun to assist residents and help pass appetizers and serve drinks, after assisting the residents with walkers into the living room where there was live entertainment. A woman named Maria really loved the cheddar cheese and ginger ale, and we would sometimes sneak extra to her. Other days, we organized and ran the Bingo games. Betting a dime for each game, the residents were intent on winning the small game money. Alice was known as the “Bingo champion" and the one who had all the “strategies", and Justin would bring his BINGO coffee mug to each game. We also spent time with residents in the dining room where we served their meals and bussed tables. Although we could never agree to it, one resident often requested we give her small dog one of the hamburgers!
What we enjoyed the most was listening to the residents' stories. A grandmother would often retell us of her days as a teacher and how proud she was that her children were all teachers and doctors now. Bunny and Jack always sat very close together on the sofas or outside by the fountain and roses, and told us how happy they each made one other. When we took their photos one day and brought prints back to them, they both were incredibly excited, and told us that they would both put the photos in their individual apartments.
We could see that the residents really enjoyed our visits. They spoke about liking our energy and smiles. While we spent time with them, they would thank us so much for coming. And each time we left, they would ask when we would return next.