project instructions, reflections, and book ideas to volunteer with your child

Become a Senior Angel

Friendship is the ultimate kindness.

Create a more age-integrated society and instill positive attitudes toward aging by providing your child with positive contacts with an older adult. Through weekly correspondence, your family will let olders know they are remembered and loved.


Possible recipients

Older adults who may be home-bound, confined to nursing homes, or in convalescent hospitals and who will look forward to your weekly greetings.

What you’ll need

  • Stationery, greeting cards, pens, drawing or art supplies
  • Occasional small, inexpensive, gifts ($2-$5), such as a box of tea or bar of scented soap
  • Postage

Instructions

  • Go to the Senior Angel website (a program of Chemo Angels) to understand the responsibilities of the program. If you sign up to become a Senior Angel, you’ll be matched with a older adult.
  • Send your older friend once-a-week chatty letters, friendly cards, uplifting notes, children’s drawings and/or occasional small gift.
  • The Senior Angel program wants to emphasize that you’ll be making a long-term commitment to someone who may come to rely on you, so it’s vitally important that you are able to send your older friend at least one piece of correspondence every week.

Reflections

  • What do you think an older person can teach us? What can we learn from them? (Explain that older adults can offer all of us their lifelong wisdom, experience and stories.)
  • How would you feel if you couldn’t walk fast or couldn’t get out to visit your friends?
  • If you were confined to your home or a particular place and couldn’t get out, what would you miss the most?

Resources

  • Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye (Simon and Schuster Children’s, 1997). Ages 4-8. A young girl visits her grandmother in a Palestinian village, and their love transcends differences in language and culture.
  • Discover more titles about older adults and aging with our extensive book lists.

Take it further

  • Find an older neighbor whom you can visit and spend time with, invite to dinner, or bring groceries or necessities to.
  • Contact your local nursing home or care facility and arrange to “adopt” a grandparent.

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