A shout-out to all our volunteers

11 May 2017

National Volunteer Week (8–14 May) is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers – such as the “Forget Me Not” program at Royal Perth Hospital.

Volunteer reading with elderly man

The ‘Forget Me Not’ program is staffed by a dedicated group of trained volunteers, who offer comfort and support to patients with cognitive impairment, specifically dementia and delirium.

Royal Perth Bentley Group Coordinator for Cognitive Impairment Elaine Newman said that the ‘Forget Me Not’ volunteers were able to provide patients with a friendly face, emotional support and practical assistance at a time when they needed it most.

The 20 volunteers participating in the pilot program have varied backgrounds and reasons for participating, some want to ‘give back’ to the community and some want to learn more about dementia and delirium to assist their own families.

There are also a number of student volunteers who wish to gain more experience for the hospital environment, patients and care teams they will encounter upon graduation.

The volunteers range in age from 18 to 70 years.

“Our volunteers are actively making a difference in the lives of these patients, and we are pleased to say we already have a waitlist of volunteers for the next intake,” Elaine said.