What an amazing year this has been! After several months of soul-searching over whether or not I should delve into the world of blogging, I hit the “publish” button on NursingHomeVolunteer.com on June 2, 2017.
Here’s how this new adventure is impacting my world:
- As someone who has never been very computer savvy, starting a blog proved quite challenging. There were times when I was knee-deep in frustration over the technical aspects of blogging, and I felt like throwing my computer into the wastebasket. Fortunately, this was followed by incredible relief and excitement when everything fell into place, and I finally figured it all out.
- I’m learning so much as I research possible blog topics, read stories on social media, and talk to other people affiliated with nursing homes. Sometimes this spurs feelings of anger as I hear stories of poor quality care. It triggers frustration as I see our society’s negative attitude toward nursing homes. But I’m also enormously inspired by the beautiful stories you share. These stories reconfirm my belief that there are thousands of excellent, creative caregivers out there who are truly passionate about enriching the lives of nursing home residents.
- Blogging introduces me to so many fascinating and knowledgeable people. Some are involved in healthcare, while others are fellow bloggers who became my mentors on this journey. I’m especially grateful to two women. Although I’ve never met Crystal Payne or Sarah Titus in person, their willingness to answer my questions and provide encouragement truly inspired me to continue my blogging journey. In the upcoming year, I look forward to fine-tuning my blog and creating an even better experience for you, my readers.
I’m super excited about what lies ahead in 2018!
As we approach the new year, I want to remind you that I write this blog for YOU and for the residents whom we serve. Therefore, I want to be certain that the topics I cover are truly helpful to my readers. That’s why I’m asking for your help in these two areas:
- Please let me know what topics you would like to see addressed in 2018. What are your greatest challenges at the nursing home? Would you like me to expand further on a topic we’ve previously featured? Do you have questions about nursing home care? Please email your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I love when you leave comments on my blog. I know you have a ton of tips and suggestions that would be enormously helpful to other readers. The more ideas we share, the more we can enrich the lives of our residents.
Here’s a summary of highlights from 2017:
- Activity Ideas
The activity suggestions I posted for Make A Difference Day in October were especially popular with my readers. This prompted me to come up with a new feature for the upcoming year. Each month I’ll post little-known holidays for our residents to celebrate along with creative activities to go along with each theme.
A common frustration I’m hearing is that you have lots of great ideas for programs at your nursing home, but there never seems to be enough money. To help you with this challenge, I’ll continue to post a fundraising idea each month. Two fundraising topics were especially popular in 2017. One described how to host a successful talent show and the other shared how to host a fashion show. I hope you’ll try one (or both) of these ideas in 2018!
- Did You Know?
This goal of this category is to provide education on a wide variety of topics related to nursing home residents. The most often visited post in this category was an article about how Alzheimer’s disease affects vision. The subjects I can address here are endless, so I hope you’ll let me know what you want me to write about in 2018.
There are so many positive changes going on in nursing homes these days, especially in the area of dementia care. My most popular news-related post in 2017 was an article about dementia care farms. I’m excited to see what news stories develop in 2018, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
These proved to be my most popular posts in 2017, especially one asking the question, “How old is too old for romance?” Throughout the new year, I’ll continue to share stories to inspire you along your volunteer journey.
Here we looked at additional volunteer opportunities that either directly or indirectly impact the lives of our residents. My personal favorite for this year was an article about bone marrow donors. If you missed this story I hope you’ll go back and read it, and please share it on social media!
- Volunteer Tips
The most frequently shared post of 2017 was as an article about volunteering as a family. I’ll continue to share tips to make volunteering more enjoyable and meaningful for you in the upcoming months.
Interestingly, I’ve learned that quite a number of people who visit my blog aren’t nursing home volunteers. I’ve heard from nurses, family members of nursing home residents, activities professionals, and others. While I want to continue to focus on volunteers, I plan to feature several articles that address special areas of interest for these other readers.
I look forward to hearing from you, and I wish each of you a wonderful 2018. Thank you so much for all you do as nursing home volunteers to enrich the lives of residents around the world.
Lastly, I’m so grateful when you share my blog with other people who have a passion for enriching the lives of nursing home residents. I hope you’ll continue to spread the word in the new year!