companion diaries

Companion Diaries: Micah & Jim

Companion Diaries: Micah & Jim

My Friend Jim

Last Friday afternoon I hung out with Jim for the 3rd time in 8 weeks. On our first two get-togethers, we split a hundred golf balls at the driving range and perfected every shot from our pitching wedge to our driver. After two practice sessions at the range, we decided to up the stakes and go play 9 holes at the local golf course.

Companion Diaries: Kyle's First Visit

Companion Diaries: Kyle's First Visit

I am in awe of Katherine after we first talk on the phone. These past couple of years, she's been doing everything possible to prevent Tom, her long-time husband, from mental decline. Every week they go together to exercise classes specifically tailored to elderly folks with cognitive challenges. Most mornings they walk the dogs to the local coffee shop, where Tom bought the paper and they read the headlines together. They travel locally and across the coast to see family and friends. Our conversation reminds me of the daily support my grandfather has provided, and continues to provide, for my grandmother in the wake of her stroke four years ago.

A few days later, Katherine opens the door for me. Bubba and Chuck wag their tails and greet me…

Companion Diaries: Therese's First Visit

Companion Diaries: Therese's First Visit

I remember feeling a little nervous for my first visit. Nervous, yet curious and excited to meet Astrid, the 97-year-old homebound woman I matched with, and Natalie, her daughter.

A few weeks prior, I responded to an email advertising an appealing community service opportunity: visiting people with dementia and doing fun, leisurely activities with them. I was eventually matched with Astrid, who wanted a companion to type up her stories. The chance to hear and transcribe her stories seemed like a really interesting and worthwhile way to spend my time, and getting paid was an added benefit.

After biking from my dorm to Astrid’s nearby home for my first visit…