If their health deteriorates, the elderly might need people to care for them. When a family isn’t available, they can live in nursing homes. The staff of these facilities helps as much as they can with their needs.
One need that might not be met is their need to nurture and care for others. All through their lives, they’ve cared for their children and grandchildren. Once the transition to assisted living and other support arrangements, there’s no one for them to care for any more.
People are much more mobile now and move far away from their parents. Other people have had bad experiences and don’t want to be around their parents. These barriers can isolate the elderly and disconnect them from the rest of the world. Loneliness and depression are often the results.
One aspect of this can be to care for pets that are in the facility. However, that leaves out the human connection that is a spark of life that only people can share.
One approach for progress in this area is for churches, synagogues, mosques and temples to help with this need. They are well-equipped to organize volunteers who could support the elderly in their community. By going and learning more about the individuals and their stories, this lonely time can be more meaningful. It would be an effort to honor the ones who still need to care for someone.
Original image: Happy Planet 2. By Patrick Doheny [Image license]