Volunteers Help Ease the Holiday Blues

posted Dec 14, 2012, 2:41 PM by Latia Murray

Nursing home volunteers often see first-hand how the Holidays effect residents. For many the holiday season is a joyful time, but for some it can be sad and even depressing.

Minnie Ballew has been an Ombudsman Volunteer with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority for over 20 years, taking time each week to visit the residents at Grace Living Center in Clinton.

“They work very hard there to eliminate any sadness or depression,” said Minnie. “The home is decorated beautifully and there’s always an activity going on. Santa is always at the holiday party and everyone gets a gift. It’s a fun time.”

Over half of nursing home residents do not have visitors, which can make it very lonely for those residents, especially during the holidays. The Ombudsman Volunteers provide the residents with an advocate and person to talk to when they need someone.

“Of course, it helps for residents to have someone to talk to,” said Minnie. “Everyone needs someone to tell about their families.”

The SWODA Ombudsman Program serves Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita Counties. For more information about the Ombudsman Program or to become a volunteer in your area, contact Samantha Walker at 580-562-4882.