At 94-years-old Dianne Gorfin has been volunteering for over 40 years, giving up her free time to assist and provide companionship for residents at Baptistcare Dryandra Residential Care in Kellerberrin.
Despite being busy with her own family and her farm, just outside of Kellerberrin, Mrs Gorfin always found the time to do her bit to help others.
In those four decades she has seen many changes and her role has evolved into a more meaningful one creating close friendships with the residents she visits.
“The volunteers used to only do the afternoon teas but now we have a more active role visiting residents, chatting to them and forming a great bond,” Mrs Gorfin said.
“My reward is that I can make a difference to their lives.
“At one time, I was a spokesperson for the residents but that role is no longer needed and I am much happier visiting my regulars, providing friendship, talking about the old days and their families.”
Her good friend, Margaret Hammond, 82, has also volunteered for nearly 40 years said that after Baptistcare took over Dryandra the changes have been positive.
Baptistcare Dryandra’s lifestyle coordinator Shizuka Yokoi said Mrs Gorfin and Mrs Hammond are a great example of how senior volunteers can make a difference to the lives of other people in their senior years.
“We have 16 volunteers who come for pet therapy, music connection programs, weekly sing along, choir, our monthly camp fire sessions, or meaningful reminiscence conversations,” she said.
“Volunteers are compassionate and loyal people who genuinely care about helping brighten the lives of those around them.
“They are an essential element of the aged care workforce.”
Mrs Gorfin said she had always been keen to volunteer, something she has done from her school days and has joined in and helped out wherever she could.
Mrs Hammond and Mrs Gorfin are no longer living on their farms and have both moved into town and closer to Baptistcare Dryandra making it more convenient to keep up with their volunteering work.
Ms Yokoi said social isolation is a problem for many in their senior years and volunteers can do a lot to help those who may no longer feel connected to their families or communities or for those who enjoy the programmes offered by the volunteers.