There is a segment of our population that is in need of good companionship, love and understanding. They are often overlooked – for reasons I cannot fully understand – and are sometimes not provided with the basic right of leading a full and decent life with dignity and respect. I am talking about our senior citizens, the people who paved the way for everything that we have today.
Often, our senior citizens face tough economic conditions and are unable to maintain basic necessities, such as good nutrition, medical checkups, pharmaceuticals and social interaction. Many times family members struggle to support or maintain these necessities for their aged parents, yet I believe that sending our seniors to nursing homes isolates them from their families and mainstream life.
In years past, seniors were often taken in by their sons, daughters or other family members to live out their lives in the comforts of a familiar home. Nowadays, our senior citizens are removed from their family circles and communities where I believe they belong. Not everyone’s story is the same; those blessed with good finances and those who planned for their golden years may not face the same challenges as others.
I urge you to look into how you can help seniors in your area and adopt-a-senior. We have all heard of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, where you can volunteer to mentor children who don’t have a strong family circle, but what about the elderly? Often times, their plight is overlooked, but our seniors face many more challenges; from getting help at home, transportation, exercise, nutrition and medical services – our elderly face an uphill battle every day.
Over the next couple of months, I will be visiting nearly 20 assisted living homes and senior citizens centers in my district to find out ways I can help those who are challenged, and I urge you to do the same. My goal is to raise awareness of how volunteers can and are making a difference in the lives of our senior citizens' lives. A few minutes of your time every day, week, or month can drastically improve the lives of others. Please join me by looking into ways you can help out your family, community, and those less fortunate. We must take care of each other with love, respect, and some good old-fashioned companionship.