An expression of
Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
(1 John 3:18)
The Purpose of “The Gathering”
Provide a safe and enjoyable place for
neighbors who are experiencing early stage
Provide respite to caregivers who need a
Give volunteers the opportunity to help and
serve our neighbors.
Who We Are
• St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Como Park Living at Home/Block Nurse
• Community volunteers
Tell us about YOU!
Who We Serve
Up to four seniors from our community who
are experiencing early stage memory loss
Candidates must be able to:
• Toilet themselves
• Feed themselves
• Walk with or with out assistance
Why are Trained Gathering
Volunteers so Very Special?
They provide the gift of their time in order to meet a
neighbors need for safety and comfort in an enjoyable
environment away from home.
They reduce suffering both for the caregiver and
They have a heightened understanding of what caregivers
and carereceivers are going through.
They have a better understanding of the special needs and
condition of someone who is experiencing memory loss.
They are a compassionate and valued presence to a
caregiving family, community and church.
What is Respite? How can The
A respite The Gathering provides an
volunteer does environment where our neighbors
for the Care- with memory loss can have an
Receiver what enjoyable and stimulating day away
would normally from home.
be done by the
Caregiver, thus The Gathering provides a safe
allowing the haven for our neighbors so
Caregiver a Caregivers can take a break
welcome break. knowing their loved one is in good
For every older person in a nursing home in the US, there are
two older people receiving care at home with the help of
The vast majority of caregivers are women. Typically they
are wives, daughters or daughters-in-law of the older person
who needs care.
Most caregivers are employed.
The most stressful issues for caregivers are concern for the
health and safety of the older person.
Decreased personal time is reported to be a source of stress
for many caregivers. They give up recreation and personal
time and often cut back on time spent with their family.
Feelings of self-resentment, anxiety, fear and guilt arise.
The Emotional Melting Pot
Your Role as a Gathering
Provide companionship, conversation and friendly
Provide transportation to and from The Gathering
if needed and if you are able.
Assist with activities.
Help come up with ideas for enjoyable activities.
Commit to help on a regular basis:
• Example: Volunteering once a month for a whole or
• Provide transportation if able and if needed.
Things you will not be asked
to do as a Gathering volunteer.
Providing personal care such as bathing,
dressing, toileting or changing depends.
Administrating medications or performing
Providing more time than you have agreed
to or your schedule allows.
Being “on call”.
A Typical Morning
9:30 to 10:00 AM
Volunteers pick up Gathering participants
Volunteers greet Gathering participants brought by Caregivers.
Prepare coffee and baked goods.
10:15 to 11:15 AM
Participants enjoy coffee and conversation directed by volunteers.
A newspaper can be used to discuss current events.
Prepare to leave for lunch at Lyngblomsten. Participants can use this
time to use the restroom and volunteers clean up. Bus arrives sometime
with in this time period.
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Lunch at Lyngblomsten and activity (ie.walk, cards or Yatzee)
A Typical Afternoon
Return to St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Remind
participants to bring purses, canes and all outerwear
items with them.
1:00 to 3:00 PM
Variety of planned activities (ie. crafts, music, baking,
cards, games, chair exercises and movies)
Caregivers return for participants and volunteers
drive participants to homes.
Emergencies -- “what if…?”
There is an emergency?
Dial 911. Stay Calm. Use common sense. Do not drive the
person yourself to the ER, wait for the paramedics. Pertinent
medical information and emergency contact phone numbers is
on file in the church office.
You are helping someone walk and they begin to fall?
If you cannot steady the person falling, don’t try to catch them,
but do protect their head especially and gradually let them fall,
avoiding sharp edges and hard items if possible. If they are
okay, but cannot get up and are too heavy for you, get help.
The care receiver is confused and insists on going home or
orders you to get out?
Try a calm, firm approach assuring the person it’s okay. Try
some re-cueing techniques. Distraction, change the subject to
one the person loves to talk about. Step out of the room for 30
seconds and walk cheerfully back in as if nothing happened.
Get another person to help.
Respect senior confidences. They need to know they can trust you.
Remind them that the information they share will not be shared by
others, except on a “need to know” basis.
There may be a great temptation as a volunteer to discuss private
knowledge with others to correct their erroneous interpretations or
gossip. As right as this may seem, it is not appropriate to share private
knowledge under any but the following circumstances:
• Information, even private knowledge, should be shared with the
Gathering or Block Nurse Program staff if the information will
support the volunteer or provide further assistance to the senior.
Volunteers should be honest with seniors about the possible need
to share limited information with the staff.
• Knowledge about a person’s intention to harm him or herself or
knowledge about abuse or potential abuse of a vulnerable adult
should immediately be shared the staff.
Trust your intuition, if you sense something is not right contact the
Communicating with someone
who has memory loss
Begin conversations by telling the person who you are. Call the
person by his or her own name and orientating them to the
Do not quiz the person about names, dates or places.
Remove distractions. Turn off the television or radio.
Do not startle by approaching from behind.
Speak slowly and clearly, preferably face to face and at eye level.
Allow the person time to process the information.
Encourage the person with verbal and non-verbal cues.
Use a normal, relaxed tone of voice.
Communicate only one message at a time.
Use questions that call for a simple yes or no answer.
Use repetition and frequent reminders.
Guidelines for Empathic Listening
Give the gift of your undivided attention.
Let the person set the pace --- don’t push faster or further than
the person wants to go.
Don’t feel you have to “solve the problem” --- the best solutions
come from the person themselves.
Help the person get more self-understanding.
Watch for non-verbal clues to the person’s feelings. Use your
eyes as well as your ears for listening.
Be aware of the content and feelings of what the person is
Validate the person’s feelings.
Myths about People Who have
Some Common Characteristics of
People who have Memory Loss
Volunteer Job Description
an expression of Love.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous
of boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way; it is
not irritable or resentful; it does not
rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right
(1 Cor. 13:4-6)
Thank you for expressing your love through