Every day seniors sit alone, waiting to share their experiences, their knowledge and their sense of humor. Too often, visitors never arrive.
Founder Brenda Merritt tells this story about one
of her visits to a nursing home:
When I first visited Margaret, I had just entered her
room when she said, “You must be an angel.”
I laughed and asked, “Why do you say that?”
Her answer broke my heart. “Because I haven’t had
a visitor in 12 years!”
This story is not unusual. Just ask anyone who
works in such a facility.
MICAH recruits and trains volunteers to visit nursing
homes, veterans’ centers, assisted living facilities
and other places seniors stay. MICAH has sent
visitors to isolated seniors’ homes to visit and to do
home and lawn maintenance, also.
Today, 1.57 million seniors age 65 and older live in nursing homes, and the number is increasing as baby boomers age. The majority of these seniors are forgotten and alone. Some estimates show more than forty-five percent have no living children. Sometimes family and friends live too far away to visit or are busy working two jobs and can’t visit. Whatever the reason, many of our nation’s citizens live out their retirement years sad and lonely.
Facts: The Administration on Aging reports 1.57 million seniors over 65 live in nursing homes. The senior population is growing. According to the AoA:
“The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 37.3 million in 2006 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.4% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 71.5 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 20% of the population by 2030.”