Maybe you spotted her on the green at the Alzheimer Society Golf Tournament. You might have strolled beside her at the Walk or rubbed elbows at the Gala.
If you’ve been part of an Alzheimer Society of Oxford event, there’s a good chance you’ve run into long-time volunteer Dianne Hodges.
Dianne has been involved since the Alzheimer Society was merely an idea. Nearly 30 years ago, regional agencies saw a growing need to provide services to those living with dementia. Dianne sat on the committee that was created to figure out a way forward. She had begun to encounter the disease in her job co-ordinating day programming for seniors at VON Oxford.
“Because I was dealing with people with the disease on a day-to-day basis, I knew how important it was for the families to have the support that they needed, and the information and the education,” she says. “As a community, we had to grow that Society and provide the services.”
Dianne has remained heavily involved as a volunteer since the Society’s creation. She also served as its interim Executive Director for a year and a half.
It’s been rewarding, she says, to see people living with dementia and their family members getting the help they need to cope with the disease. She believes educating people about Alzheimer’s has been a major step forward.
Dianne found her time serving on the Alzheimer Society’s board of directors particularly meaningful. She enjoyed being part of an organization that was growing and constantly searching for new ways to serve the community.
“It’s well known Oxford has an amazingly workable, insightful Society, always planning ahead and looking at new services to provide,” Dianne says. When representing the Society at conventions, it was exciting to know that the Alzheimer Society of Oxford’s ideas were “sort of ahead of the game.”
No matter what role she’s played, Dianne has enjoyed spending time with other volunteers and staff.
She says prospective volunteers should know they’ll get to choose a role that suits their interests and they’ll be given the training to get the job done. Volunteers are always warmly welcomed and thanked for their time, which can mean a lot, Dianne adds.
“It’s been an extremely positive experience and I hope that I will be able to volunteer for many, many, many more years in whatever capacity they need.”