Shock, pity and gratefulness – the three main emotions I felt after my multiple visits over 4 months to the old age home. I am not ignorant of the less fortunate or the elderly at all but sitting and talking to them was an entirely new experience for me. It was a really fun and interesting experience for me, there was just something about listening to their stories that helped me emotionally connect to something I had read, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” by Abraham Lincoln.
- LO 2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
Initially, I was a bit bored and saw it as a “task” I had to do but eventually as we got to know them better and they too started to open up to us, it made me want to go there more frequently. After 2-3 visits, I couldn’t wait for every saturday to come and once we did go there I didn’t feel like leaving for 2-3 hours. It was a really whimsical and interesting experience for me, and I never imagined I would enjoy doing something like this.
However, not everyone we talked to had joyful moments to talk about, sometimes the cold reality of their children abandoning them, getting widowed or having different types of illnesses struck me hard. Nonetheless, all of them had formed a new family involving the people of the old age home and they never failed to see the good/positive side to everything. This taught me a lot. The entire experience made me more knowledgeable, caring and reflective about my life.
This experience also made me learn the process of bonding with elderly people. There has also been a gap between my grandparents and I when we sit to talk, since we can’t find common topics to talk about, other than them asking me about my studies. This process of interacting with these people has helped me find a few topics to talk about with my grandparents.
- LO 4 : Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
We thoroughly visited the old age home for 4 months, every weekend. We needed commitment in order to not miss any day of visiting the old age home just because we were lazy or had gone somewhere out. Sometimes, it was hard to commit to it due to the constant assignments/ submissions we had and our lack of time management skills. However in the end, we did commit to it and only missed 1 or 2 saturdays.