Sapna Patel, a physician by profession, is one of the passionate and dedicated Vibha volunteers in Kenosha, Wisconsin Action Center. In December 2017, she came up with this idea of taking the youth volunteers to a Nursing Home in Kenosha, WI. Brookside Care Center is a Nursing care and rehabilitation center. It has a group of dedicated nursing staff, who is responsible for both short and long term care of the residents, depending on their needs. These residents are Alzheimer’s patients, one of the major health crises in the United States. People with this progressive disease of dementia start losing their cognitive abilities along with memory loss and the condition worsen as they age. These patients need proper care and treatment. But along with that they also need love, which could provide them with the strength required to survive with this cruel disease, a condition, which hinder their daily life. The nursing staff at the center is very attentive to the needs of these patients, but by going their on a routine basis, Vibha volunteers have contributed in the lives of these residents in a very distinguished manner.
Sapna took an initiative for this activity with a very clear vision. She wanted the mid and high school children to come together and work towards one objective. Here, the objective was to bring out their hidden potential. When I was interviewing Sapna, she mentioned that how amazed she was by seeing these children merging so easily and comfortably with the older generation.
These volunteers have made two visits so far to this nursing home in February and March this year. They plan a variety of activities during every visit, such as card games, memory games, singing, etc. Some of these kids also entertain the residents by playing some musical instruments. Both the generations get bridged together so well that they fully enjoy the time with each other and excitedly look forward for the next visit. During the interview, Sapna also indicated that some of the patients have advanced level of Alzheimer’s; their mental ability has declined to the level that they could not even move their limbs, but they still enjoy being passive players of the activities. And even not that, they would just enjoy their conversations with these children. This has become a regular, monthly activity for these volunteers. To give a leadership chance to every kid, it is led by a different kid each month. The leader is responsible of planning the event and deciding upon the activities to be done.
Sapna, during her interview, stated how satisfied she is with the way values, like humanity, leadership and giving is being imbibed in these kids through this monthly activity and how enthusiastic they feel about it.
After successfully kick-starting this nursing home initiative, this group of volunteers is all set to expand the list of activities they do. They are planning to work with homeless shelter now. They are also planning a summer fun-fest to raise funds for Vibha. It will be a picnic, where all age groups can go and welcome summer. There will be games, snacks and brief talks about Vibha.