GlamourGals is fighting the battle of elder loneliness and bridging the age gap between the youth and elderly. I can see the change in the residents’ from prior to GlamourGals and after. The smiles on their faces bring me more joy than you could possibly know. Being able to make these ladies’ days, by simply volunteering a few moments of our time is absolutely mind blowing. GlamourGals sets the tone that the elderly matter and helps overcome the stigma associated with older individuals. Through the chapter, our volunteers were able to relate to these marvelous women, and doing so, especially those with dementia, was so eye opening. GlamourGals has allowed me to share my passion for the elderly with others and help educate more people on the harsh reality of elder loneliness.
Prior to every makeover, all of us arrive thirty minutes early and talk over pizza and cookies, about how we are excited to see everyone. One time, in one of our early chapter makeovers, during our pre-makeover talk, the facility brought one of their residents down and sat her at the table opposite us. She was unhappy and crying. I asked if we could give her a slice of pizza and they said it would be alright. She was still crying and I was rubbing her back, but after about five minutes she eventually settled down. Our volunteers were really shy, but I had beckoned them over afterward to show them that the resident wouldn’t bite. That moment prepared them for the breakdowns they now consistently see with our residents, due to their dementia, and helped them realize that they can actually do something during those moments.
GlamourGals has further built upon my love for the elderly. I fell in love with Biology this semester and hope to pursue either a career in research or become a doctor. Being able to cure degenerative brain diseases’ such as Alzheimer’s would make me more than ecstatic. These individuals have lived the best years of their lives and experienced so many memories and hold so much knowledge, and this disease just robs them of that. If I decide not to do research, it would be my honor to look after the elderly and provide them with the support and treatment to make their lives as comfortable as possible till the end. My goal would be to keep them kicking as long as possible!
-Maia, GG volunteer in Massachusetts &
Chapter President Glammy Scholarship Award finalist