Gransnet forums


Is volunteering selfish?

(40 Posts)
Oprah2020 Tue 21-Apr-20 12:14:09

I've been invited by my workplace to volunteer with packing and delivery for vulnerable. This is around 12 miles from home. I'd love to help but have to decide whether this is being selfish by putting DH at risk. He is 73 with mild asthma. I'm over 65 and have type 2 diabetes. Generally speaking, we feel reasonably fit.

rosenoir Tue 21-Apr-20 12:58:11

I would not do it,your husband is one of the vulnerable.

There are many young fit people that are safely volunteering.

TwiceAsNice Tue 21-Apr-20 13:04:21

You too are at risk besides your husband. 12 miles is a long way to drive in these circumstances. I would not please keep yourselves safe.

Mapleleaf Tue 21-Apr-20 13:07:43

Yes, as a diabetic, you, too, fall into the vulnerable category. It is admirable to want to help, but you have to put your own safety and that of your DH first.

SalsaQueen Tue 21-Apr-20 13:37:46

I'm 61, work only in the mornings, I have mild Asthma. I'm doing some voluntary work for the Red Cross at the moment - collecting prescriptions, getting shopping, etc., for people within a 5 mile radius. I wouldn't do it if it was 12 miles away.

notanan2 Tue 21-Apr-20 13:43:14

I think if you want to volunteer you could find a way to do so that is low risk for you.

You do not need to do it through work, being synical its good PR for them to have you all volunteering through them, but theres no reason why you cant take up other, less risky volunteer roles that have nothing to do with work

25Avalon Tue 21-Apr-20 13:44:15

You are the vulnerable. In my village it feels strange to not be one of the volunteers as I have been in the past. Now is the time for the next generation however. And they have stepped up to the mark.

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 13:57:11

Listen to your instincts.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 21-Apr-20 14:52:22

I usually help at the local food bank but I am afraid I am giving it a miss at the moment, I just don't want to be with people. I must admit I do go out daily on my bike but never really meet anyone and I do shop once, sometimes twice a week but I feel safe. Not sure I would feel safe in a work type environment.

notanan2 Tue 21-Apr-20 15:06:50

Thats fair Barmey
And staying away from others counts as a good deed these days too!

Gabriel56 Tue 21-Apr-20 15:40:11

I have been asked to help with deliveries for a local farm shop - I am generally well and no one could tell by looking at me but I do have coronary artery disease and angina along with rheumatoid arthritis. All are well controlled and I don't talk about it outside my family but I feel I should say no. I interpret the vulnerable list as showing heart disease as heart failure etc but I have to decide for myself I suppose. OP, diabetes is a definite condition on the list so I would declined if I were you. I realise I'm just rambling on here so apologies for that - just feeling a bit useless and low I suppose! Stay safe and well everyone flowers

Oprah2020 Wed 22-Apr-20 07:42:57

So good to read all the comments and to find that others also have that feeling of wanting to do something but their wise mind saying they must leave it as the best thing to do is stay at home. Like Gabriel56, I rarely mention the Diabetes although of course the internal reminders to stick to the diet, exercise and tiredness if I stray off course never go away. I see also that DH is more vulnerable because of his age. As Barmy points out it feels very strange not to be doing stuff and leave it to younger fitter people. Your comments help me to see sense.

Gabriel56 Wed 22-Apr-20 08:04:03

Oprah2020 I'm so glad you've made your decision - hope you both stay safe and well and I'm sure we'll do all we are able to do once this nightmare is over!

Marydoll Wed 22-Apr-20 08:07:06

Gabriel56, I'm surprised that you are not on the sheilding list. I have your conditions, with lung disease and am sheilding.

The British heart Foundation have a very good explanation on their site, about people with heart conditions.

You need to keep yourself safe.

Hetty58 Wed 22-Apr-20 08:13:22

Oprah2020, there's no way that you should volunteer - it's just too risky!

Hetty58 Wed 22-Apr-20 08:19:36

Gabriel56, you shouldn't volunteer either. There are safe 'admin' opportunities, though, to phone vulnerable people, check on them and ask if they need anything. Contact some local help groups to offer your services.

Puzzler61 Wed 22-Apr-20 08:19:39

I agree with 25Avalon. This crisis is a time for the younger generation to assist with volunteering. Many are happy to do it as they are furloughed from their day jobs ( as a young delivery van driver told me when he brought my Sainsbury’s groceries). We oldies can leave it in their capable hands I feel.

Gabriel56 Wed 22-Apr-20 08:51:25

Marydoll I think the fact that my RA is apparently in remission and I'm not currently needing my methotrexate means that I don't need to be shielded though I do take several meds for my heart condition. I will look in to it further - maybe ring my gp surgery.
Hetty58 I did offer my services (admin skills) to a couple of places this week so hopefully something will come of that. Thanks for the input everyone!

Marydoll Wed 22-Apr-20 09:26:05

Gabriel, that is great you are not on Methotrexate at the moment.
I was due to start biologics the first week of the lockdown, so on hold now.
I hope you keep well.

V3ra Wed 22-Apr-20 09:31:10

My Dad's 89 and hasn't left his sheltered housing grounds since lockdown.
He's feeling stir crazy but I've stressed to him that we all have a role to play, and his job at the moment is to stay safe, keep out of the way and let the critical workers do their jobs.
That seemed to help him feel part of things.

Iam64 Wed 22-Apr-20 09:33:12

Marydoll- sorry to read your biologics are delayed because of this virus. Fingers crossed they work as well for you as mine do.

Marydoll Wed 22-Apr-20 09:51:59

Thanks Iam64. Nothing else works anymore and I've had a flare up, but was relieved, it was postponed. It was too risky to come into hospital. I can't do the injections at at home, as I have a history of allergic reactions.
It's not the end of the world. I'm relieved that I don't have numerous hosp appointments. I'm having a good rest! ?

jaylucy Wed 22-Apr-20 10:14:00

It amazes me at the moment that the number of people post on here and say "my OH / child/parent etc is classed as vulnerable and I am diabetic/asthmatic/ cancer patient etc and then ask if they should do something but not because of their health problems, but the others as if they are not vulnerable as well!
In this case I would say a definite no to volunteering - no matter if it's your employers that are requesting help. If they query why you are not, just explain why - there is no shame - volunteering is after all supposed to be voluntary which means that you don't have to do it!
If you feel that you want to do something, check out your local Facebook group - there are usually requests for people to help out with things that mean you can do it from home.

Gabriel56 Wed 22-Apr-20 10:15:56

Thank you Marydoll and I'm sorry to hear about the delay with your biologics. I was fortunate to have a good response with injectable Methotrexate but I feel for you flaring at the moment flowers
Iam64 glad that biologics helped you too!

Samaromo Wed 22-Apr-20 10:18:03

My daughter wanted to volunteer to help with transport or shopping for people as she has been furloughed. She is in her twenties but they won’t accept her help because she has asthma.