• From trauma nurse to volunteer, Linda shares new lease on life at Resthaven

    From trauma nurse to volunteer, Linda shares new lease on life at Resthaven

    Linda O’Neill discovered volunteering at Resthaven Aberfoyle Park in June 2021, and hasn’t looked back since, claiming it is the best thing she could have done as a retiree.

    ‘I was a nurse for around 50 years, and some of that time I worked in trauma,’ says Linda.

    ‘While high-stress, I enjoyed knowing I was helping people who really needed it. Above all else, I just wanted to do something meaningful with my life.’

    Linda retired from her career as a trauma nurse in 2021, however, she wasn’t ready to stop helping others.

    ‘I knew I needed to slow down, but I was still very physically fit when I retired, with lots of energy – that’s when I found Resthaven.’

    ‘There is something special about coming in as a volunteer – you don’t have to be there, but you want to be there, for the residents, and for the staff.’

    Two women seated on a lounge displaying knitted blankets
    Linda and Nav with blankets made during Knit and Natter

    Linda assists the Lifestyle team every Thursday and Friday morning, and is always the first one there, making coffee and tea for residents an hour before their activities begin.

    ‘I enjoy assisting residents with the program, but something I have recently been loving, is visiting residents who aren’t comfortable leaving their rooms on a one-on-one basis.’

    ‘I will have a chat with them about their day, and we will often go for a walk together in the garden, or find a nice place to sit and read.’

    ‘Encouraging them outside of their rooms makes such a difference in their day and to their confidence.’

    Last winter, Linda was instrumental in the Knit and Natter group, helping Lifestyle Coordinator, Nav, to deliver packages to the homeless.

    ‘I do hope we continue the initiative this year. It is wonderful to see the joy and purpose it gave to residents, knowing their blankets and beanies were going to people who needed them.’

    ‘I feel lucky being here at Resthaven. In my time here, I have seen every staff member, from Lifestyle, Housekeeping, Kitchen, to Reception, have the utmost respect and care for residents and families.’

    ‘It is a great thing to be able to use your time to give back to older people, and trust me, you get more out of it than your give!’

    Thank you for your kind words, and important contribution to Resthaven, Linda.

    Volunteer today!