“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” said Roman poet Decimius. Old age is inevitable and in accepting it gracefully, lies wisdom. But the younger generations also have a responsibility towards the elderly. Many a times, we see that these people are left on their own, at the mercy of old age homes or hospices. 98-year-old Mary lives all by herself in an apartment, and the time she spends visiting the Senior Center is her only salvation. A film company named Voyager, in association with the Senior Center planned to capture on camera an entire day in her life. What they captured was heart-breaking and made me realize how even five minutes of our time can bring a smile onto the faces of these old and ailing people.
The video shows Mary arriving at the retirement home and the woman is surprised at finding out that she is on camera. There are numerous others like Mary in the Senior Center who pass their time by indulging in various activities. You can see that the oldies are no different than young kids, the only disparity probably being the wrinkled skin, walking aids or cochlear implants. Their spirits are high and they believe in enjoying every single moment, rejoicing in the fact that they are able to walk down to the retirement home. They meet people and make friends who motivate each other to focus on the good things and do as much as they can. The positivity is infectious. At the end of the day, the seniors ride the bus back home. When the crew asks her what she does in her spare time, Mary reveals that there is nothing much to do and no one to talk to. “You know what I do? Don’t laugh,” Mary says, “I get junk mail, I strip it. And after I strip it, I cut it up small, put it in a bag and put it for garbage.”
The nursing home staff members who are present at Mary’s house are moved to tears at this and one of them says, “I guess I never thought of that, after they leave me, and I go home to my life.” Mary was overwhelmed to see so many people dropping by at her place and said it was a welcome change from her everyday monotony. Watch the entire story here and do not forget to call your granny today.