My Trip to Arbor Terrace: Fighting Social Isolation This Week


Ananya Mehta

The elderly are often victims of social isolation. The image above closely depicts a heart-wrenching scene I witnessed as I preformed with Music Heals at Arbor Terrace.

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to receive the opportunity to perform at Arbor Terrace with Music Heals, a brilliant volunteer organization that enlists musicians to brighten the days of the elderly residing in local senior centers. People often forget that the elderly are actually some of the most likely victims of social isolation and intense feelings of loneliness, which is why even the tiniest form of interaction can make the biggest difference in their lives. As I watched the talented and unique performances of my peers, I frequently found myself glancing out into the crowd of seniors. I watched as one lady held a baby doll tight her arms, showering it with affection as though the child was real and would reciprocate her emotions. She hugged the fake child, closing her eyes at times to appreciate the peaceful environment. This heart-wrenching scene really opened my eyes to the internal loneliness and pent up affection of the seniors in this center. Although employees at the center attempt to craft a social environment for the elderly, some of them are unable to dedicate themselves due to their deteriorating mental and physical state. By playing at the senior center I procured smiles on the faces of the seniors around me, fighting social isolation head-on.