By: Leo Kong
When math teacher Mr. Robert Caruso introduced the Adopt-a-Senior club to Murrow, he did so with the intention of helping senior citizens.
“The elderly are very lonely because a lot of people in society don’t care about them,” Mr. Caruso said. “We live in a society where people just want to get rid of the elderly as soon as possible.”
So three years ago, Mr. Caruso created the club to visit seniors throughout the Brooklyn community.
The program is sponsored by Friendly Visiting, which is run by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island. They look for volunteers to assist clients with shopping, organizing, and exchanging stories.
Students visit homebound seniors, which are elderly that live at home by themselves and are unable to go outside. Mr. Caruso said that students stay for an hour usually once a week.
“Students go in teams of two once a week from school and visit and help the elderly get out of their houses,” said Mr. Caruso.
According to Britney Duval, the President of the Adopt-a-Senior club, the senior that the student gets paired with depends on which senior lives closest to the student or the school.
“Pairs are supposed to stay for only an hour,” Duval said. “You and your partner can pick when and what time you visit the seniors.”
According to Duval, the pairs engage in active communication with the elderly and activities that help make the elderly’s life easier.
“Most people speak to the seniors about their life,” said Duval. “Some play board games with them. What each pair does depends on the senior. Some of the seniors like to cook so the pair goes cooking with them. One time we helped a senior with learning to use the computer.”
Chloe Thenor, a member of the Adopt-a-Senior club since last semester, said she joined because she wanted to help the elderly. She said she believes some of them are very lonely and she would like to make their day.
“My experience with seniors are great,” Thenor said. “My current senior Lisa gets very happy when me and my partner Melissa (Lancet) go to her house because she likes to have company and to have someone take care of, even though we insist to help her clean or get something out of her kitchen. I feel so proud to be working with seniors because they are some of the sweetest human beings alive.”
Mr. Caruso said he believes that Adopt-a-Senior is important because it is a way to bridge a better relationship between the youth and the elderly.
“The Adopt-a-Senior Club exists as a way of appreciating the elderly and giving back to them,” said Mr. Caruso.