It’s been said that when you volunteer, you receive much more than you give. That certainly is the case for David Arendt when he started volunteering for Park Place Adult Day Services! Park Place Adult Day Services, located inside the Centralia Center, is a “supervised day program for dependent adults providing daily activities and socialization” (according to their website). The staff can serve any vulnerable or dependent adult, and they specialize in dementia care.
In February 2017, Park Place contracted with Edgewater Haven (a local nursing home) to provide hot meals to its clients. That’s when Janet Arendt, Edgewater Haven’s Dietician, asked her husband David to please deliver the meals. “She said she couldn’t pay me,” said David, “that it would be on a volunteer basis.”
When asked if he was “Volun-TOLD” to help out, David just laughed and said, “If I can help somebody, I’ll do it! I don’t mind. I’m retired! It’s better than doing nothing!”
Monday through Friday, David travels to Edgewater Haven to pick up the insulated delivery bags filled with hot meals and drops them off at Park Place. But it doesn’t stop there. “There’s this one lady who says ‘Come here David!’ and she gives me a hug and kiss!” said David. “The clients are happy to see me and that makes my day. When they smile it makes me smile. It beats sitting at home worrying about things that’ll never happen.”
Each client at Park Place has a disability that prevents him/her from staying home alone, which puts a strain on caregivers. That is why programs like Park Place are so important. They provide a place for dependent adults to go during the day so caregivers can run errands, go to work, etc.
“I give the staff a lot of credit,” said David. “It’s a tough job to take care of the clients. But Park Place offers an alternative to caregivers who are looking for help for their loved ones. They get good care here.”
While Park Place doesn’t need more volunteers to deliver meals, they do have a number of volunteer opportunities! They are looking for volunteers to interact with clients; and to help out with their monthly Memory Cafés.
Memory Cafés are held the second Tuesday of each month from 10:30am – Noon. During these free events, dementia patients and their caregivers get together for: activities for the clients; and support and information for the caregivers. Volunteers are needed to help lead each meeting, to help with registration and to facilitate refreshments.
To learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteerinnerwisc.org or call United Way’s Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390.
The Volunteer Center is an internal program of United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties. It serves as a clearinghouse for volunteers and agencies. Our mission is to mobilize and inspire people to utilize their talents and enhance the community.
- Name: David Arendt
- Nominating Agency: Park Place Adult Day Services
- Residence / Family: David lives in Nekoosa with his wife Janet. He has three grown sons and two grandsons; Janet has a son, a daughter and two granddaughters.
- Occupation: David retired seven years ago from Domtar, where he worked for 48 years. Prior to that, he was in the Air Force for four years, stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War.
- Hobbies and interests: watching high school sports, walking and biking.