News From Your Neighbors – Neighbors Who Care Inc.

Don’t be a victim of ageism

Eric Ehst, Executive Director

I’m sure you’ve noticed; we live in a society that worships youth. Just turn on the TV, look at most ads, or listen to pop music. Until recently movie stars, with a few exceptions, disappeared at 40. You have to dye the gray hair and take the dates off your resume to get a job. In our society older people used to become invisible, mostly ignored and unappreciated.

Well, there’s good news. Fueled by our ever-lengthening life expectancy and the huge number of baby boomers hitting retirement age (10,000/day), things are changing. We’re no longer automatically consigned to a rocking chair on the kids’ front porch, or warehoused in a nondescript nursing home. More and more of us are continuing to live in our own homes, travelling, working, and, most importantly to Neighbors Who Care, volunteering to change the lives of others. This month, no matter which candidate we choose, we are going to elect a Social Security eligible President of the United States.

One of the greatest universal desires for most people is the ability to live independently with dignity. This does not change as we grow older. Even those who have some infirmity affecting their ability to perform some of the tasks of daily living strongly wish to maintain their independence. These are the people who Neighbors Who Care serve and they deserve to be honored and respected. Our clients include war heroes, scientists, university professors, CEOs, mothers, fathers, farmers, machinists and many others. All have lived full and productive lives and they all have stories to tell. Our oldest client will turn 104 this month. Her paramount desire is still to be able to live in the home that she loves with the man that she loves. She is living proof that, yes, 100 is the new 80.

The only thing all of these wonderful people have in common is that they need some help doing the little things necessary for daily living. Maybe they can’t drive and need a ride to the grocery store. Or they can no longer climb a ladder to change a light bulb. Or they can’t see well enough to balance the checkbook. This is where you come in. Our volunteers have resumes every bit as diverse and impressive as those they help but they also understand that, even in retirement, they maintain their value and their visibility through helping others in the community.

Don’t be a victim of ageism. Don’t disappear into the background of our community. Our volunteers know that you don’t have to live in the White House to be a winner or to make a difference in the world. Contact Neighbors Who Care today at 480-895-7133;