Of the 2 million Americans in nursing homes, some statistics show that 60% will never have a visitor. Never! Over two thousand people die in nursing homes each day, many without a friend to hold their hand.
The mission of Friends Across the Ages is to reach out to residents of nursing homes, especially the lonely and forgotten. As the name implies, we attempt to establish true friendships with these individuals in order to enrich their lives and ours. This is our one and only mission.
Why is this important?
With people living longer and longer, and with a more mobile society and changing family structures, society is becoming more dependent on facilities that provide living assistance. What you may find when you visit a nursing home is that the people there have one problem in common -- loneliness. The lucky ones have family nearby that visit as often as possible. The unlucky ones get few or no visitors, and feel extreme isolation. But most of them are lacking one thing -- someone to call "friend". Most of their friends have passed away, or are in similar physical condition and are in facilities themselves.
Imagine for a moment what it would be to not have a friend. The need is desperate. In only one hour a week, you can restore hope, dignity, and sense of belonging. You will be a connection to the "outside world". Over time, you will become a friend and confidant.
How will I benefit?
That's the best part of all - you will benefit from the experience too.
- You'll feel the gratification that comes from giving something back to those that came before us.
- You'll make new friends. Your life will be enriched by a friendship with someone for whom little things make a big difference.
- Through the weekly readings and evaluations, you'll gain valuable insight into your own strengths and weaknesses. You'll learn useful communication skills. You'll be able to speak with authority about the issues facing our elderly.
- Those in health-related professions or geriatrics will gain important experience that can be put on a résumé.
- You'll learn what it was like to live in our world 80 or 90 years ago.
What these amazing people need are Friends who care. What they have to offer can only be discovered by those who are willing to come and share their time and their love.