The BRAVO study is designed to measure the impact of doing volunteer work on the physical, cognitive and psychosocial health of people over the age of 55. One important part of the study is that participants volunteer at Baycrest for 3 hours a week for a 12 month period (there is flexibility for vacations). Recruitment into the BRAVO study has now been completed. However, volunteers are needed at Baycrest in many areas.
There are currently over 200 volunteer opportunities available at Baycrest. In addition to these positions, Baycrest is always exploring new opportunities to better serve volunteers’ interests and clients’ needs. It is a priority to help you find a position that best matches your interests and skills. Training is provided as needed for each volunteer position.
Below are a few examples of volunteer roles. For additional volunteer opportunities please go to http://www.baycrest.org/volunteers-03.php. If you are interested in volunteering at Baycrest, click here or call the Baycrest Volunteer Office at (416) 785 2500 ext. 2572 and tell them that you are interested in becoming a Baycrest volunteer.
Do you love sharing your experiences with others? If so, you might like to volunteer as a discussion leader at the Community Day Centre. You will be leading discussions among groups of Baycrest clients on matters such as current events and ethical issues while reflecting and sharing your own experiences. Excellent communication skills are a must for this position.
As a volunteer at the Computer Club, you can volunteer in the Computer Discovery Program and teach our elderly clients how to use computers. Another role is to assist clients in visiting with their friends and relatives over Skype. Both positions require an intermediate level of computer proficiency, and the second position requires a working knowledge of Skype.
Our clients love having visitors and being accompanied by our volunteers to the various events and activities offered at Baycrest. As a friendly visitor, you will visit your assigned client(s) regularly, usually once a week. We have many clients who feel more comfortable communicating in a language other than English, making this an excellent opportunity for volunteers who are multilingual to utilize their skills.
Palliative Care is a program of active compassionate care directed towards improving the quality of life for the dying. Volunteers regularly visit patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and play an important role in helping patients and their families maintain a sense of purpose in life despite their prognosis. Intensive training is provided to volunteers in this program.
From childhood, I was always on the receiving end and didn’t really have the need to give back to those who gave to me. As a senior, I now realize that it is not always possible to give back to those who gave to me but, instead, it is an honor and a privilege to give back to the community.
My involvement with BRAVO has been a most rewarding and satisfying volunteer experience. I realize how important the study is and how important it is for “retired” people to remain active and engaged. Not only are we helping those for whom we volunteer, but we are helping ourselves to remain young and involved.
There are many people in the community who are looking for involvement but do not know where to find it. I offer you a win-win scenerio - BRAVO can help you and in turn, you can help BRAVO. This is really the meaning of “giving back”.