Life’s pretty boring if you can’t give back a little bit

We couldn’t agree more with these wise words from valued volunteer Trish!

Until she retired Trish Teske didn’t know what boring was. She worked long hours in her full-time job. When she retired to the New South Wales north coast, she made contact with her local Red Cross office and volunteered her time.

Three years on, she’s one of the hardest working volunteers in the Community Visitors Scheme Program. Trish visits four elderly people and each receive not only her warmth, understanding and care, but also her passion for their rights as older people.

How Trish makes a difference

Ursula and Trish

Despite macular degeneration affecting her eyesight, Ursula still enjoys a scenic drive out and about in her local community. Ursula lives alone, so it would be hard for her to get out without Trish. “I really just go and socialise with Ursula.”

Trish and John

Trish saw how John’s conversation always returned to his wife Shirley, who has dementia. John and his wife live in the same residential facility, but John’s health makes it difficult for him to visit her. So Trish sits with Shirley, then she can reassure John that his wife is okay, is well looked after and cared for. ”It brings a smile to his face.”

Fay and Trish

At 93 years old Fay continues to live an almost self-sufficient life on her acre of land with chickens, fruit trees and a vegie patch. Trish’s visit help alleviate some of the isolation of living alone. She sits and listens. “I think there’s all these things that these elderly people have in their heads that will just go with them.”

Trish and Les

“With Les, he doesn't talk a great deal... he just wanted to shop. So I said, ‘Come on, let’s go shopping’, and I love it.” Trish helps Les maintain his connections. She takes him to his favourite barbershop, the one he’s been visiting for over 20 years. They fossick though the local op shops and stop for sponge cake and cream on the way home.

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