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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Simmons chapter.

Every day as you live your life, you age. You’re a day older. Then, a year older. Before you know it, the years have gone by and you’re 80 years old. I have spent my entire life surrounded by people. At school, at home, even as I walk through the city by myself. I can live my life as an independent woman, while also being surrounded by people I love. Now, imagine the day when that stops. You can’t make it outside your house anymore, your friends aren’t around, and your family lives far away. Suddenly, not by choice, you are alone.

This is the reality that many elders face every day.

Many stay inside, day after day, with only the television voices to keep them company. The sadness I feel for these elders is almost too much for me. I could be the type of person who thinks about it, feels intensely sad, and tries to forget about it so it won’t bother me anymore.

But I am not that type of person.

Every week, I visit an elderly friend to chat with her, help with household tasks, and take her to the store. I look forward to it all week. Not only is it comforting to me to know she has someone to talk to, but I take comfort in her too. I look forward to seeing the way her eyes light up when I walk into her apartment. I look forward to sharing stories and laughing with her. In our society, elders are neglected. They are forgotten. We, as young people, have the power to change that.

Visit your grandparents as often as you can. Make cookies with your elderly neighbor, or take a trip to your local senior center and see what you can do for your community. Research local programs that connect you with an isolated senior. In Boston, I visit my elderly friend through FriendshipWorks, and I consider it one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Every week, my senior friend tells how much she appreciates my “sacrifice” and I always insist she isn’t burden to me. I could spend that one hour of my week watching Netflix or wasting my time with another useless activity. Instead, I visit someone who makes me happy. Taking time to visit her is not a sacrifice to me. She’s my friend.


Header image courtesy of cdc.gov.

A suburban girl turned city slicker who loves her friends, writing, and her Sephora Beauty Insider card.