Silver Lining is a volunteer awareness initiative of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), that brings volunteers to people who live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and state supported living centers.
Silver Lining's goal is to support the need for quality care and meaningful connection for a growing aging population.Silver Lining provides volunteer opportunities to individuals, groups and corporate and faith-based partnerships.
Thanks in part to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) Silver Lining volunteer program, what started out as a one-year commitment has grown into a long-term relationship between a Girl Scout troop and an assisted living facility.
In the fall of 2011, Junior Girl Scout Troop 19172, with the San Jacinto Council, "adopted" the Barton House, an assisted living community for seniors with Alzheimer's disease. Many of the scouts had grandparents in other cities, and thought this would be a great way to connect with seniors in their community.
That's how they connected with the Barton House, where they were welcomed with open arms. The facility director gave them information on how to interact with people who have Alzheimer's disease, and the girls scheduled their first visit.
Before this initial visit, the girls wrote letters and made cards to let the residents know they were coming. During the first year, the girls put on a talent show, helped with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, planned a Valentine's Day party and enhanced their garden area. They also refurbished a raised garden bed, added bird feeders outside residents' windows, prepared an outdoor activity box of games, and held a reception for the big reveal — all as a final step to earn one of their Girl Scout Journey Awards.
The experience was a great life lesson for the girls. They began the endeavor by selecting individual "grandparents" to adopt. However, the loss of a few precious residents and the addition of others taught all involved to cherish every minute with every resident so that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy this newfound relationship. With encouragement from the director, the girls have already participated in two events and made several visits in the 2012-13 season.
For more information, contact DADS at 1-800-889-8595 or visit Volunteer at DADS.
Updated: February 5, 2013