Sitting comfortably in their armchairs outside the building, a group of elderly people were basking in spring sunlight and looking down the undulating road when the rumble of the engine started to approach from the depth downhill. They all grew agitated as the big bus appeared in front of the old age home.
It was the 27th of April, when students from FAR’s various scholarship programs, were joined by some students from the Vanadzor Taron 2 Children’s Home to visit the Vanadzor Old Age Home.
Upon arrival, students had a refreshing lunch. Then, they got down to work, cleaning the rooms of the building and doing some gardening downstairs. Some of the students, residents of Mer Doon who are qualified hairdressers, washed, cut, and styled the residents’ hair.
Socialization with the elderly was an important part of the visit: students communicated with them, became acquainted with their life stories and also told them about their studies and current news. Chess and backgammon competitions were held between students and the residents. VOAH resident Ashot Sargsyan won the competitions and was awarded a souvenir from FAR.
Closer to the end of the day, a concert of Armenian folk songs was organized by the students from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and the audience joined in a vivifying dance together with the students and VOAH staff. When the concert was over, the students gave presents to the residents, hugging them as they would hug their own grandparents.
The residents all felt that attention is what consoles and alleviates pain at the sunset of their lives. Attention from the part of their families, friends, and also occasionally from the young generation that revives memories and brings joy. An added benefit of such initiatives is mutual understanding between the elderly and the youth.