DENVER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — In a month when togetherness and families are celebrated, loneliness can be especially poignant this time of year. One group particularly impacted, the elderly. The CDC reports one-fourth of people over 65 report being lonely, and that feeling can result in faster mental decline and increased risk of heart attacks and death. In this season of giving, possibly the best gift is making wishes come true, no matter your age.
75-Years-Old, Jeri Highland says, “I had been retired for six months, then I started getting tremors.”
Jeri Highland feared her newfound freedom would be cut short by Parkinson’s. She says, “I thought my life is over as I know it.”
But instead of giving up, she found hope.
“We believe that aging is universal and should be celebrated.” Says Caitlyn Shepherd with AARP’s WISH of a LIFETIME.
WISH of a LIFETIME’s mission — To make sure our elderly know they are not forgotten.
“And through the granting of a wish, we are able to reconnect and celebrate those older Americans.” Explains Shepherd.
At 86 years young, Edward Walton, an Airforce veteran, was granted a trip to our nation’s capital.
“I wouldn’t know what Washington, DC, looked like, except on tv and the radio.” Says Walton.
At 74, WISH of a LIFETIME helped Howard fulfill his Broadway dream.
Over 15 years, the non-profit has granted more than 25 hundred wishes, with over 90 percent of the seniors saying they have more purpose and more meaning in their lives afterwards … which goes to prove …
Shepherd says, “Maybe it isn’t too late to stop dreaming.”
For Jeri — her wish came true too!
She got back on a bike — something she hadn’t done in 20 years. And she says, “I love it. I love it. Every chance I get, I get on it.”
Not only did Jeri get back on the bike, but she also received a specially made bike, and cycling lessons from Lance Armstrong’s cycling coach. WISH of a LIFETIME is a partner of AARP. If you would like to nominate someone for a wish, or make a wish for yourself, log on to WISHofaLIFETIME.org. You can also sign up for their newsletter there.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer.
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