There was no turning back once Pauline Malan got a taste for volunteering with the Alzheimer Society.
For the past two decades, Pauline has been working hard to make sure every Alzheimer Society luncheon goes off without a hitch.
She ensures every place is set and every candle lit. She’s a friendly face when patrons arrive, and she’s there cleaning up once they’re on their way.
“I help wherever I’m needed,” she says, whether it’s feeding a massive crowd at the Walk for Alzheimer’s or preparing for an in-office event.
Hearing other people share their experiences with dementia at the luncheons is a highlight of Pauline’s volunteering. She enjoys the chance to constantly meet and learn from new people.
The kindness of the Alzheimer Society staff also keeps Pauline coming back year after year. She has great admiration for the work they do and appreciates how friendly everyone is.
Executive Director Shelley Green, Pauline says, “is so informative. She is so level.”
“And she always, always, always thanks you for being there, for helping out, which makes you feel good.”
Pauline started volunteering after making a donation to the Alzheimer Society in memory of her uncle. Both her uncle and her aunt had Alzheimer’s, but were undiagnosed.
Pauline’s aunt didn’t recognize her the last time she visited before she passed away. She was strapped to a chair at a nursing home to prevent her from wandering to other rooms.
Unfortunately, programs to help people living with Alzheimer’s weren’t widely available at the time. Now, it’s a different story, Pauline says.
“What a difference it makes when you can go to a place, and they can help you, and they can talk to you about it.”
For her part, Pauline plans to keep things moving at Alzheimer Society luncheons, doing vital work behind the scenes to help ensure people in her community can get the help they need.