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I Like Old People.

Submitted by Emily Mielke (Midland, Michigan)
I Like Old People.

My dog and I read to the residents of an alzheimers and dementia unit at a local nursing home

I can’t imagine what it would be like to spend my days not knowing who or where I was, how lonely would that be? When I moved to a new city where I only knew a handful of people, I found myself alone quite a bit. It was hard. I thought that instead of moping, I could do something to combat my loneliness. I had just gotten a puppy, and made the decision to make her into a therapy dog, I thought there was no better place to start than where people could benefit from some youth the most. Leila, my dog, and I read to the alzheimer’s/dementia unit in a local nursing home every Monday. We mostly ready short stories, poems, or bits of the newspaper. They pet my puppy, some even feeding her treats. She also makes rounds to those who can’t always make it for stories. Some of the residents are starting to sometimes remember who I am, and I have noticed a significant change in their mood from when I get there to when I leave. Half of the time I just listen to them tell me their own stories about their lives. They’re kind, funny, and loving people. I’m lucky to have gotten to know a few, and it fills my heart whenever I go and see them.