SHERIDAN — Dementia Friendly Wyoming is looking for volunteer friendly visitors who will be matched with individuals at risk of dementia for weekly visits.
Without the stimulation that social interaction and friendship provides, an isolated elder can experience poor health, a lack of strength and energy, depression and other physical and emotional problems. Weekly visits from friendly visitors can change this.
Claudia Colnar, a volunteer friendly visitor, was matched with an elder without any family in Sheridan, for weekly visits. Shortly after they began visiting, they discovered a common interest in classical music. Their first outing was to a concert at Sheridan College. Since that time, in addition to other concerts, they have taken weekly visits to a number of Sheridan focal points: The Brinton Museum, Trail End Museum, a visit up Red Grade to see the wildflowers, sight-seeing in the Tongue River Canyon/Dayton/Ranchester from the car; a jaunt to Third Thursday on Main Street, which included cotton candy; and coffee at Java Moon.
Volunteers visit with their friends for an hour or two each week. Some other activities that our volunteers enjoy with their friends may include:
• a friendly chat over a meal;
• reading aloud;
• helping with light chores;
• trips shopping, to a local coffee shop, to concerts, museums or to appointments;
• any other activity that friends enjoy.
Anyone interested in volunteering or who knows someone who may have dementia that would benefit from friendly visits is asked to call (307) 461-7134 to complete an application and sign up for a two-hour training Aug. 16 from 1-2 p.m. at the DFW offices, located at 1 S. Scott, Suite 2.