So with the FYSOP blog, we are going to start featuring certain issue areas in our new feature, Issue Area of the Week! How exciting, right? We are starting with one of the classics, Elders!
For this issue area, the two dashing coordinators, Max Harrington and Robby Lucchesi, are ecstatic to be participating in an issue area that has so much dedication from the incoming students and staff. “It amazes us how many returners we always get on staff,” says Robby, who is new to the Elders issue area and an alumnus of Human Rights from both freshman year and as staff. “Many of our staff are either returning Elders staff or did Elders their freshman year. It feels like we are a part of a larger community of volunteers.” A big part of their mission statement is educating volunteers about the different facets of elder care. Each community is unique and they all have very unique needs. A major focus of the issue area (and a major aspect of FYSOP Fusion with Disabilities) is memory care, which encompasses Dementia and specifically Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of Dementia. Senior citizens living with Dementia require extra care but more importantly, extra love. Although they might not remember names or events, they are still incredibly attuned to body language and energy. Although at times frustrating, caring for family and friends with memory disabilities is truly a labor of love.
On a more fun note, we are also visiting a site called Café Emmanuel, which is a Thursday lunch event for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) seniors in the Boston area. It is coordinated by the LGBT Aging Project, which devotes itself to serving a community that is rarely included in conversations about elder care. Although not a huge community, the aging LGBT population has a wealth of stories and experiences to share which is why this is a Fusion site with Gender Focus. This issue area has surprised both coordinators, and left them excited for the weeks to come. Max Harrington, a former Human Rights volunteer and Children staff member, loves every site he has been to: “I just cannot wait to see the change we bring to the Boston community. We have a chance to make an impact like never before.”
We hope to see you all in the fall! If you haven’t already applied, make haste!