“It feels good to be needed.”
Those words stuck with Maureen Barrett when they were spoken to her by a participant at Lincolnia Adult Day Health Care.
A longtime resident of Fairfax County and retired child care worker, Maureen began volunteering at Adult Day Health Care a decade ago. She interacts with participants daily, sharing her talents — one of which is teaching crocheting and knitting.
She recounts a day when she was working with the participants and some could not follow along with her knitting instruction due to a language barrier. So, one of the participants — a former professor of the Spanish language at a local university — stepped-in and served as translator. After the activity wrapped, Maureen thanked the participant.
“I thanked her profusely because she made everyone comfortable. She turned to me and she said ‘It feels good to be needed,’” Maureen recounted.
And that statement got Maureen thinking about her role as a volunteer and member of the community.
“I thought that was so wonderful. Here I am a volunteer, and she is a participant of the program. But she is also volunteering. What she said expresses exactly how I feel as a volunteer — it feels good to be needed,” she said.
“The program belongs to the participants,” said Susan Yohe, center nurse coordinator, Lincolnia Adult Day Health Care Center. “We know each one holistically — their likes and dislikes, interests and their history. They lead it because it is developed around them, not what we’re instituting.”
Kathy Hartman, a family caregiver whose mother uses the Adult Day Health Care program, reflected on the importance of this holistic approach, commenting, “I think as we age, so many things are decided for us. And I think one of the depressing things is you no longer get to make decisions; they’re telling you what to do. So for having an option, hmm I think today I’d like to do that or no I don’t want to do that. Not every one of these 30 people are the exact same people.”
Want to meet Maureen or Susan? Then visit our Adult Day Health Care in Lincolnia. Maureen and Susan would welcome the opportunity to have you join us for lunch and a tour.