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Nursing Homes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Two years ago somethinghappened that changed the way I look at the world. On my birthday, mygrandfather, walking home with his hands full of groceries, fell and hit his headon the sidewalk. Just as we were leaving to meet him for dinner, we got the callthat he was in the hospital. At first, I thought nothing of it, but when I heardthe whole story, I couldn't believe it. He hit his head so hard that he had ablood clot in his brain (to make a long story short) and it had to be operated onimmediately. Everyone thought he would die, and he should have.

Althoughmy grandfather survived emergency brain surgery, he had complications. He couldhardly talk and he couldn't walk. Shortly after, he was admitted to a nursinghome.

Today, he lives at home with my grandmother and is doing muchbetter, but this isn't about him. It's about what I saw at that nursinghome.

I saw something that many haven't, but those who do often chooseto ignore it. I saw more sadness in those days visiting the nursing home than Iwant to think about. In that one place were hundreds of elderly people who werealone and forgotten.

So what is to be done with the situation of theelderly? This is not an easy question, but something must be done. Perhaps groupsin the community could assign each member to one nursing-home patient with whomthey could keep in regular contact. Maybe a school could adopt a nursing home andsend cards, pictures and letters to residents. If periodic visits were arranged,I'm sure that for some, if not many, those students would be the only visitorsthey had all month. These are just a few ideas; to see a change, we all need towork together.

I challenge everyone to tour a local nursing home, and ifyour heart is broken, I further challenge you to do something about it. You'llbrighten someone's day, or maybe even his or her life.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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