You could be forgiven for thinking that debates and discussions surrounding the current political climate and other happenings around the world are the preserve of the young, but residents in St Catherine’s have no shortage of opinions or views – and certainly no shortage of energy - when it comes to keeping up with the news.
What they are often lacking, however, is someone to help them keep abreast of everything, someone to explain the often inexplicable happenings in the world today. Could that someone be you?
It’s quite common for residents to be in their 90’s or 100’s these days and, although the enthusiasm often remains as sharp as ever, the key senses of hearing and sight are sometimes severely dimmed.
To have someone to patiently explain the headlines in a newspaper and discuss the changing world makes a huge difference to many of the residents I chat with - and it’s fascinating to do a bit of time travelling yourself as life in the early half of the 1900’s is brought back to life in the words of someone who was there.
Today we have everything available to us at the click of a button – food or drink delivered straight to our door on a whim; next day deliveries on everything from a book to a washing machine and even things you can order now and receive in a few hours! What must it have been like in a world without instant access to your heart’s desire?
Well, a lot happier, according to many of the residents I’ve spoken to. Times were harder, but they took pleasure in working hard to save for something special and the general consensus is that it made them appreciate things more; families provided company and entertainment for each other and were there when you needed them, forming strong bonds and providing dependability.
There are some great things to share about living in the here and now, though – Skype keeps residents connected with families no matter where they are, mobile phones similarly; 24-hour access to a huge range of TV channels, often with subtitles for those who have difficulty hearing. But you can’t beat having someone for company to share your news and thoughts with and I hope that doesn't change, no matter which era we live in.
If you want to join me in giving some time to volunteer for St Cuthberts Care, get in touch with the charity's volunteer co-ordinator, Nicola Milne by ringing 0191 2280111 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org