Lending an Ear This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     Nursing homes can be very sad places.Many of the elderly placed there either have no family, or nofamily who cares enough to visit. I wasn't aware of this untilmy friend and I started volunteering at a nursinghome.

When we entered the nursing home we werebombarded by elderly people who wanted nothing more than tohold our hands. Many of them had difficulty speaking. Onewoman, a law school graduate, could barely utter two wordsbefore returning to gibberish.

One woman was one of thefunniest people I have ever met. She was so full of life andfun to talk to, even though she had many health problems. Iwould love to have her for a grandmother. I was dismayed tohear that her son, who placed her in the home, disconnectedher phone because she was calling him every day. What did heexpect? She had led an active life and suddenly was expectedto stay in one room with no one to talk to; of course she waslonely.

Another woman we met was often depressed. Mostof her family and friends had died and her son was ill. Ithought we were boring her because she would repeat the samethings over and over. One day when my mother came into herroom to tell us it was time to go, the woman was on the vergeof tears, telling my mother how wonderful we were and how muchshe enjoyed our visits. I never thought I was wonderful, all Idid was lend an ear. I guess that was all she needed.




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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