About Meer & Oever
Meer en Oever, part of Amsta, is a small-scale housing project for twenty-four elderly people with dementia, who live as normal as possible in four housing groups.
What did your volunteer day look like?
"The plan was to go for a short walk together and have a cup of coffee. But things took a different turn; that afternoon, the Netherlands was hit by a heavy snowfall. Instead, we spent the afternoon baking pancakes and eating them together while chatting quietly."
"The contacts made and sometimes alert remarks by the residents touched us. For example, a native of Amsterdam was surprised that she threw a snowball at us with the snow we had collected outside."
How did you choose this activity?
"Our idea was to help with something that would really help people. The theme of 'loneliness' fitted in nicely. Just being there and giving attention is what the elderly find super! You don't always have time for that.
What did you notice?
"Initially, I just couldn't bring myself to actually start volunteering, it just kept stalling. Until a colleague said that I should just give it a chance and go with a team."
"We then signed up with a group. It turned out to be an impressive experience. The day was well prepared and coordinated beforehand and it went very smoothly. We were almost pampered as volunteers!"
How easy is it to volunteer? Do you do it more often?
"Usually it is not so easy, because I don't really have time for it. But this way, through my work, it was quite doable and I would definitely like to do it more often!"