friendship

Guardian Angels: Volunteering to Make an Impact

Posted on 07/21/2014 by |Volunteering | Comments

VolunteeringNobody knew much about Roger. His niece had dropped him off at the nursing home one day, saying there was a family emergency. Could they keep him overnight? Days passed, and then weeks. Some thought that Roger’s niece had been pocketing his Social Security checks, and when authorities started catching on, she bolted. Whatever the reason, she never came back. Enter Mark Desmond, Roger’s volunteer guardian. Mark, a newly retired sales manager, was determined to find out all he could about Roger, …

Talking (and Listening) to People With Dementia

Posted on 04/21/2014 by |Volunteering | Comments

Your LifeI talk with my friend Arthur twice a week, and each conversation starts the same way. “Hi Arthur, it’s Laura.” “Laura, dawling. Whe-ah are you?” “I’m in Ohio.” “You’re still the-ah?” It’s been almost 10 months since my boyfriend, Joe, and I left New York. “Yep, still here! Grad school is going really well, and it’s great to be close to family. It’s hard being far from friends, though. I wish we were tasting olives together right now.” >> Sign up …

The Power of Pause: Taking Time to Visit Seniors

Posted on 02/21/2014 by |Volunteering | Comments

Your LifeI’ll admit it: I love a good to-do list. When I’ve got a lot on my plate, or even when I don’t, there’s something so satisfying about crossing things off as I go. But my latest project has been a lesson in letting go of the list. As part of my grad school assistantship, I’m administering cognitive tests to older adults at a care facility near campus. When my adviser, Kate, told me about it, I was excited to jump …

Why Oscar Nominee ‘Nebraska’ Has Already Won

Posted on 01/22/2014 by |Volunteering | Comments

Your LifeI saw Nebraska over the holidays with my boyfriend and his mom and my mom. It was a rather odd double date, come to think of it, but this isn’t about that. The movie just got me to thinking. There’s an important message in Nebraska, particularly in the relationship between David (Will Forte) and his father Woody (Oscar contender Bruce Dern). When Woody says he won a million dollars and has to travel 800+ miles to collect the prize, his …

Having My FaceTime With Arthur

Posted on 11/20/2013 by |Volunteering | Comments

Your LifeI didn’t know what to expect from my long-distance friendship with Arthur — but it wasn’t this. It’s been three months since I moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to small-town Ohio for grad school. It was tough telling friends I was leaving, especially Arthur, who had come to rely on my Friday visits. Several weeks before the move date, I called our social worker Sasha at DOROT to strategize about how to break the news. “When do you think I should …

The Gift I Didn’t Know I Needed

Posted on 12/26/2012 by |Volunteering | Comments

Your LifeBefore my Pop Pop died, we had a conversation about our conversations. “I miss our talks,” I said one night, sitting by his bed. It was August and, though the doctors said he was in good health, he was miserable. During the day, the pain consumed him and I wondered where my grandfather went, but for an hour or so at bedtime, the Pop Pop I knew came back. “I know you’re hurting, and it’s hard to think about anything …