Doing Good To Our Elderly Neighbors

It only takes a small, humble effort to do a good deed. A great example of this is helping out an elderly neighbor, a worthy act you will never forget or regret. I recently had a conversation with my sister about her experiences serving the elderly, and I wanted to share her story and show insight into how doing good can be reciprocated.

“I’ve always been intimidated by visiting the elderly, particularly if they weren’t family members, but every time I do it, I have felt rewarded by the experience. It’s so much easier than it seems. A lot of times the people you are visiting are only seeking one very simple act of kindness.

“One such instance occurred when I was in college. My dad called me and told me about an elderly colleague of his who had been hospitalized, and he asked if I would go visit with her. I consented, even though I had no idea what kind of conversation I could engage in with this woman whom I had never met or seen before. I felt it was the right thing to do. When I entered the room, I introduced myself and she immediately asked me if I would brush her hair, so I did. I don’t remember anything else about that visit except that she was satisfied and I felt great.

“More recently, I shared with my minister that I wanted to help others. He recommended a woman I had met a few times at church. I knew of her and agreed to go and sit with her. I made myself available for what she needed and was blessed by the experience. I visited her weekly for several months. Sometimes she wanted to talk, and sometimes she didn’t. Sometimes she wanted to read along while I read to her, and sometimes she wanted to stare into space while I read. What we did wasn’t really important. Whether the person involved is elderly or not, it usually boils down to being present.”

My sister’s experiences with doing good to the elderly has been important to all involved. She has had the pleasure of listening to their stories and advice. The take-away from any opportunity to help or visit the elderly is it’s great to be able to know that you made the effort, however small. In the end, you come away with much more than you gave. It’s certainly worth moving past any apprehension about how the time will be filled. The truth is, doing good to anyone results in an all-around uplifting feeling, creating an impactful experience for the giver and the recipient.

Doing good to the elderly can encompass such actions as visiting, transporting, or even just acting as a regular pen pal. Organizations such as the AARP Foundation are a great place to start looking for ways and opportunities to serve your elderly neighbors.

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