I want to start with the simple but strong statement that we need to take part of our time to assist the elderly people in the society get their physical and emotional needs. This activity is mainly recommended for college students who have ample time for assisting needy people during their free time.
There was an 87 year old woman called Loretta who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and I volunteered six hours a week to help her remain independent in her home while I was in my first year of studies at the college. Similarly, there are other elderly Americans that are that need to be taken care of to remain independent at home. In the survey I conducted in my class, all of you except two people reported that they have grandparents while seven of you reported that their grandparents live alone. My purpose for this speech is to of this speech is to persuade you to solve problems encountered by elderly Americans by volunteering to help them remain independent in their homes. Let us see the problems that are faced by these elderly people.
Two major problems are encountered by elderly people who live alone and do not get the companionship that need to be accorded to them. The first one is that these elderly people are not able to meet their physical needs. An example is Loretta, the 87 year old woman that I helped during my voluntary work. There are other elderly people that live alone and need to be taken care of in terms of preparation of food, cleaning services and their transportation. The second problem is that they tend to commit suicide. According to a report from the National Center for Vital Statistics, people above the age of 75 show the highest rates of suicide compared to other age groups. The high rates of suicide are mainly caused by hopelessness, helplessness and haplessness.
Helplessness refers to a feeling of powerlessness to some people as a result of loss of physical and mental vigor. Hopelessness refers to a condition where elderly people feel depressed as a result of onset of old age. Haplessness refers to a feeling of repeated losses such as loss of earnings, friends and family. Since we are now conversant with the problems facing elderly people who are left alone in their homes, we are now going to look at what we can do to solve these problems.
As participants in this activity, we can help in solving these problems by participating in voluntary programs of helping elderly people who live alone at home. Here in Wisconsin, Community Options Program has been formed to help the elderly people with disabilities stay within their homes. In Madison, Independent Living program has been formed to provide companionship and assistance to the elderly people.
In my view, I visualize that it is practical as well as rewarding for you as college students to participate in these voluntary programs. You can decide to participate either for as few as one hour a week or volunteer for as many as forty hours a week. Helping needy people will result into great personal gratification and sometimes financial assistance from organizations that support the service to the elderly people. For instance, there are state-run organizations such as Community Options Programs and the Title 19 Program that provides financial assistance to people involved in these voluntary activities. These funds can cater for your travel expenses or act as a salary to the tasks you are performing.
I would like to urge you to take action by volunteering in helping the needy elderly people remain independent in their homes. Spending time with these people can be useful in meeting their physical needs and emotional needs. You can adjust your time to fit your schedule. To ensure you get personal gratification from volunteering work. These activities can result into high levels of personal gratification from volunteering as well as monetary benefits. Most importantly is that these elderly people will always be appreciative to your efforts.