When Ruth Lynam sold her Bed and Breakfast more than two years ago with plans to retire, she soon realised that the quiet life was not something she had envisioned for herself.

“I’m a people person,” Ruth said. “I can’t handle not interacting with people and I just like helping people. I still have clients who ring me on my mobile and want to book in with me at the bed and breakfast, and they’re sad to hear I’ve closed. That’s how much I love interacting with people.

“I’ve been working in catering and have worked with people most of my life, so to just stop wasn’t something that was easy for me.”

Relocating to Albany from Armadale with her husband – who is also retired – it was by chance that Ruth stumbled upon the opportunity to volunteer at Juniper Korumup Residential Aged Care Home after reuniting with a former bed and breakfast guest who happened to work in administration at the home.

“I caught up with Jackie for a coffee and she suggested I come and volunteer and help out with some admin,” she said. “So I thought, why not?”

“It makes me feel good that I help somebody.” Juniper volunteer Ruth Lynam

More than 12 months on, Ruth has become a huge part of the Juniper Korumup family, volunteering two days a week, assisting in admin and giving one-on-one time with residents.

“Each time I’m in, in the morning I will walk around the dining room, chat to people, and if there is a new face I make sure to say hi and get to know them,” Ruth said.

“Or if I see someone is looking sad, I will go and have a coffee with them and listen.”

Ruth said volunteering was not only a way for her to give back to others, but also filled her with joy and gave her a sense of purpose.

“It makes me feel good that I help somebody,” she said.

“I think volunteering, especially in aged care, is so important. Residents have a lot of life experience they can share with us, and we can give them some encouragement, and talk to them about what’s on their mind and help put a more positive light on things.

“Some residents don’t often have visitors, so me being there it’s about giving them that personal contact and listening to them.”

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