11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 years and older, live alone and experience isolation. Suicide rates among seniors have increased drastically due to elderly isolation. “GrandKids” (in collaboration with local assisted living facilities) and “Close2Heart” (in collaboration with local Florida hospice institutions) are two award-winning programs that bridge the gap between two most valuable yet extremely vulnerable sectors of our community – senior citizens and the youth. These programs have adopted over 5,000 senior citizens and have impacted nearly 20,000 lives. They are aimed towards reducing the raging statistics of emotional depravity amongst the elderly.
We’ve created sensitivity training and a seven-week activities program where the youth of our society understand the sensitivities of being an elderly senior citizen. These trained youth are paired with senior citizens in assisted living and hospice facilities. They meet each week to engage and become familiar with their assigned Grand Parent and form a connection with them that’s filled with inspiration and compassion. Towards the end of the seven-week program, Grand Kids create and present memorabilia that is gathered from their conversations and interactions with the seniors – a memory book of their adopted Grand Parent, consisting of memories from their childhood, education, career accomplishments, their family trees, and words of encouragement.