If you ask Peggy Hall why she volunteers with Paradigm Health, her answer is simple. “I truly believe that when you give of yourself, you receive so much more in return.” The folks she visits atThe Forum at the Crossing on a weekly basis would be more likely to tell you that Hall’s Thursday morning visits brighten their day with her beautiful smile, compassionate ear, and even a competitive game of Scrabble now and then.
A retired real estate agent, Hall visited her own mother at The Forum for over six years and wasamazed at how caring and supportive the staff and volunteers were to her and to her mother. Hall had retired to assist in her mother’s care and finances and soon found herself spending a lot of time in collaboration with her mother’s care team.
“There are people at The Forum who have worked there for manyyears and they become a part of your family,” shares Hall. “I was able to see firsthand how rewarding working with these seniors can be and after my mother passed away, I still wanted to be a part of that and to give back to those that had given so much to me.”
Hall recently became an “official” Paradigm Health volunteer by going through a short training class and some quick and easy medical testing. Her focus — dedicated to making a difference and enriching the lives of those she spends time with each week — is aligned with Paradigm’s holistic and team approach to care and their commitment to bringing joy to each and every day for every patient and their family.
Signs of Spring in the Memory Garden
“I also maintain the Memory Garden at The Forum and I really enjoy working to create a place of beauty for the residents and their families and visitors,” shares Hall. “Volunteering is contagious because it feels so good. My husband, Gary, sometimes comes and works in the garden with me and recently built a beautiful fence to hide an air-conditioning unit so that the courtyard would look great for a party the facility was hosting.”
One of Hall’s friends, Susan Lake, is also a Paradigm Health volunteer at The Forum and she and Hall planted some bulbs in the Memory Garden last fall and are just now seeing the first signs that soon spring will be in full bloom. Hall and her garden “assistants” hope that visitors and residents will come and spend time in the Memory Garden and enjoy the calm beauty that she and has worked hard to create.
“One of the gentlemen that I had played Scrabble with before he passed away was a big jazz music fan. In remembrance of her father’s love of jazz, his daughter commissioned a local artist to create a saxophone player out of metal that we placed in the memory garden. And, I planted a weeping cherry tree in the garden in memory of my mother,” shares Hall. “Leaving a piece of a loved one in a special place really is very fulfilling.”
Besides her valuable and precious time spent visiting with seniors, Hall, her husband and other volunteers have taken the time to create a lasting tribute to those who cared for her mother and as a reminder to others residents, friends, and families visiting the memory garden that there really is a circle of life. Hall encourages others to make time to volunteer.
“I also am a volunteer with a women’s non-profit social service organization called Stansfield Circle that serves downtown Indy’s Fletcher Place Community Center. I get the same feeling when I volunteer there as I do when I volunteer for Paradigm Health,” shares Hall. “Nothing feels better than giving back and seeing the difference you can make over time. It takes so little investment to make a big difference in the lives of others.”