Weatherford Democrat

January 10, 2013

Improve your well being and longevity by volunteering


Weatherford Democrat

— A new year often motivates us to establish new habits – or explore opportunities we’ve always wanted to try. These goals may range from eating healthier or exercising regularly, to writing a book or beginning an art class.

If becoming more social, helping others and giving back to the community is on your list, consider becoming a volunteer at Weatherford Regional Medical Center – it may just improve your well being.

Weatherford Regional Medical Center has volunteer opportunities throughout the hospital campus for teens, ages 14 and up, and adults. Areas that currently have volunteer opportunities include:

• Escorting patients and family members in the front lobby.

• Delivering items to departments within the hospital.

• Assisting patients and family members in the outpatient surgery waiting room or ER waiting room.

•  Helping staff on the nursing units.

Volunteers at WRMC enhance the services hospital staff provides patients, their families and guests. Several years ago, the Corporation for National and Community Service released a study that reviewed a collection of scientific research that revealed volunteers help themselves to better health while helping others. According to the report and its research:

• For adults age 65 and older, the positive effect of volunteering on physical and mental health is due to the personal sense of accomplishment an individual gains from volunteer activities.

• Volunteering led to lower rates of depression among people 65 and older.

• People who volunteered after experiencing heart attacks reported decreased feelings of despair and depression – two factors linked to mortality in post-coronary artery disease patients.

“There is now a convergence of research leading to the conclusion that helping others makes people happier and healthier. So the word is out – it’s good to be good,” said Dr. Stephen Post, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-author of the book “Why Good Things Happen to Good People: The Exciting New Research That Proves the Link Between Doing Good and Living a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.”

Top 10 reasons

So, besides improving your health, why should you consider volunteering at Weatherford Regional? Here are 10 top reasons:

10. Make someone else’s day.

By being the first person a patient or a guest sees when they come to the hospital or spending time with patients who may not have many visitors, a volunteer has the opportunity to provide comfort and compassion, as well as set the tone for a patient or guest’s experience while in the hospital.

9. Have fun.

When you volunteer doing something you love, the time will fly. And you’ll meet a variety of like-minded volunteers – soon-to-be friends.

8. Satisfaction.

It’s almost guaranteed that when you help others, you will enjoy a greater sense of self worth.

7. Explore career opportunities.

Young adults volunteering at WRMC have exposure to learn whether they’d like to pursue a medical career.

6. Get off the couch.

Volunteering gives you a reason to wake up and get motivated.

5. Learn new skills.

Young adults who volunteer will learn a great deal, and gain valuable work experience. They can also include their service on their resumé for future college applications and jobs.

4. Fulfill graduation requirements.

If you need volunteer hours to graduate from high school or college, WRMC has opportunities. Fulfill course requirements while learning, meeting new friends and having fun.

3. Make someone’s day.

Your extra efforts to assist our healthcare team or help a patient or guest more comfortable can mean the world of difference to them.

2. Become a part of a team.

Experience the camaraderie of working with others on a common goal and sharing the reward of making a difference in another person’s life. Whether you’re a soon-to-be graduate, considering a career change, or enjoying retirement, volunteering with a team will enhance your life.

1. You’ll be appreciated.

At WRMC, we love our volunteers. We respect their time and appreciate their giving of their talents.

To learn more or to have a volunteer application sent to you, call Deb Williford, director of Volunteer Services, at (817) 599-1672 or email deb_williford@chs.net.