Volunteer Highlight: Dominika G.

In honour of National Volunteer Week, we at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto wanted to do a little something to thank our outstanding volunteers. To showcase the amazing work that they do as an integral part of our mission, we are featuring volunteer stories on the blog this week. Be sure to check back each day for a new volunteer story! This is Dominika’s story.

I started volunteering with AST to support a program which I am very passionate about. Since the moment I heard about the Music Project, I knew I had to be part of it.

I am fortunate that nobody in my close circle thus far has suffered from Alzheimer’s or dementia, however, the well-being of senior citizens is close to my heart. We talk a fair bit about equality, but I think we often leave seniors citizens out of the mix. More often than not they are marginalized or discriminated – just because their hair is grey, maybe they walk slower, or can’t hear well. Being young, as I am, one can often forget that one day we will all be seniors. I really wanted to be part of such initiative and have the opportunity to give back and show my support for the seniors in our community. I combined that with my love of music, which is large part of my life; I often think it’s one of the best things that has been created. Music keeps me company in the good and bad times. And I listen to all very types of music, it truly depends on my day, how I feel or what I am doing.

 

 

When I heard about the Music Project, I thought it to be absolutely the best idea ever, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. My role as a volunteer is to upload music to iPods for clients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The music is selected by the client or the caregiver/family and a list of music requested is passed to us (volunteers) to create a personalized playlist. I upload the playlist to an iPod which AST provides to the client, and get the package ready for pick up or shipment. I find the time very rewarding and it keeps me grounded. Again, being young and healthy, one can forget how precious that is. One thing I’ve learned is that dementia / Alzheimer’s has no real age limit – often the requests for music is for clients outside of an expected age range.

I am always reminded what a great city we live in, not only because the program is absolutely free of charge, but also I often leave in awe of how diverse Toronto is – music requests most often are not for north American music from i.e. 50s, but for music from all different parts of the world, going back to the roots of the recipients. When I create the playlists I often think and hope they will like the selection and that hopefully it will make them smile or make their day better and maybe even make them feel less lonely or isolated.

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