Her effortless smile welcomes you in, and her endless energy is amazing. “I have the time, and the energy. And besides, it’s good for me too!” Eventide resident Arline Follet responds in conversation, suggesting the benefits she receives from her volunteer escort service are equal to those whom she transports – her friends and neighbors at Linden Tree Circle.
Arline has always enjoyed walking, outdoors especially. She and her husband, Charles, spent 25 years wintering in Arizona, where she belonged to a hiking club and put on over 15 miles per week. Summer meant lake living at Bad Medicine in Minnesota. In 1963, the Follet’s had purchased a lot and built a cottage. Over the years it has been rebuilt, and today the home remains a favorite spot of her children and grandchildren. “I don’t fish or swim,” she says with a laugh, “but I’ve always loved walking in that beautiful scenery.”
Charles and Arline moved to Eventide on Eighth in November of 2006, two years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Charles passed away shortly thereafter. Arline decided to remain in her cozy apartment, where she still lives independently, cooks for herself, and loves creating her own schedule each day.
It didn’t take Arline long to find a way to share her time and energy at Linden Tree. She recalls observing staff escorting residents to the salon, activities and worship services, and thinking to herself, “Why, I could do that!” She laughs now, thinking about how she began with one resident, and now has a weekly schedule hanging on her apartment door, detailing who is going where, and when.
Arline escorts her neighbors to the salon and the wellness center, totaling about ten trips per week. They visit along the way, sometimes stopping in the coffee shop or to pick up the mail. In October alone, she logged over 73 miles during her volunteer hours as an escort! The residents are so appreciative of her kindness, and she often reminds them that she does it because she has time and she enjoys it. “I have a hard time sitting still; my legs keep going!” In addition, she also walks on the treadmill three days a week in the wellness center, which she loves. Also an avid puzzler, you’ll find her latest work-in-progress on a table in her living room.
This amazing 92 year old credits all of the volunteers at Eventide for the variety of talents they share, and their commitment to serve others. “There are many things I can’t do,” she humbly states, “but I can push people!” And with each step she takes, her smile and gracious spirit continue to bring joy to those around her.