|IDEA BY:||Robert Celik||LOCATION:||Canada||CATEGORY:||Social Responsibility|
|IDEA BY:||Robert Celik|
Our demographics are rapidly changing as the Canadian population ages. Currently about 23% of Canadians are over the age of 60 (Statistics Canada). By 2036 the number of seniors is expected to double to about 11 million. In Canada there is an alarming lack of care for the needs of seniors. Even those fortunate enough to be able to afford a care home are experiencing chronic loneliness and isolation. These stressors have become major health risks in the lives of elderly citizens. From my personal experience, I saw my grandmother staring at the wall every time we visited her at the old age home. She had Alzheimer’s and therefore was not included in much of the programming and activities. The situation was heartbreaking and completely unacceptable. Her limited interaction with others could have easily been resolved. My idea is to partner up elderly individuals with university-aged students in a program called Stimulate Seniors. We have over 2 million university and college students in Canada. Many of these students are also looking for rewarding work and volunteer experiences. If a fraction of these students were trained to provide company to, and do activities with seniors, we could begin to provide the dignity that elderly citizens deserve. Let’s face it; we all need a friend to spend time with and talk to. Knowing that someone cares about us makes us feel good about ourselves and is something we look forward to. I believe that companionship and personal interaction are basic human rights. All seniors require individualized care to meet their needs, and that includes forms of stimulation throughout the day. Every single one of us ages and will eventually require an old age home or personalized care. Would you want to be abandoned at your must vulnerable time?