The Edwards Agency


Close the generational gap

generational gap It's a fact, the elderly population is growing. In the year 2000, there will be more than four million people over the age of 85. With this growing number of people, there comes a growing number in our society that require institutional care in their later years.
   Forty percent of all people over 65 will be in a nursing home at least once in their lives. I think that we owe it to the elderly to make their years more enjoyable and to help reverse the effects of social isolation that sometimes happens in some care facilities.
   Simply going to talk to people at a nursing home can do the trick. It has even been proven that little activities, like bringing back old memories, can sometimes reverse or prolong the effects of dementia and diseases like Alzheimer's.
   Other activities like art, listening to music, writing letters, gardening, going for short walks, petting animals, and reading books can be fun for not only the person you are visiting, but for you, also.
   As a 15-year-old, I can say that I have truly benefited from the wisdom that senior citizens have to offer me. I hope that I, too, have positively made a difference in their lives.
   I think that if we try and close the generational gap between the elderly and my generation, then perhaps we can all benefit from the kindness and wisdom we can offer each other. We need to stay connected with the seniors in our communities.

Janna Kline, Bothell