Antoinette-Marie Williams gave Emmett Daniels a When they first met, they ran for their money. a Two years ago, chess was in fashion. It has since led the two eagerly awaiting for the other’s presence, so they can be partners and You can play it again. 

“The first day we played, we were kindred spirits,” As we got on, she told me. a Zoom with Daniels, whom she hadn’t seen face-to-face in a Few months “I was a good opponent for him. I don’t think he expected it.” 

Daniels nodded affirmatively, and smirked. “Our chess games matched perfectly,” He says. 

Williams, 76, and Daniels (age 17) and Daniels met while Daniels was enrolled in the DOROT high school program. a New York-based charity fosters intergenerational support groups. They pair older students with younger adults to form a range of services. of Activities based on games and From affinity groups to music events. It has served over 4,000 older adults Each year, there are many of who are homeless and live in a single-family home or have a need for shelter. connection, according to the organization’s website. 

Williams and Daniels and his team have played many different games together since then. of chess, and Both are important. of They are great for good conversation outdoors of the program’s doors. 

You quickly forget about the dynamics of the interaction when you watch them interact with each other on the camera of Age and It is a baseless assumption that humans are selfish. of The elder may be the only teacher, but there are very few things that different generations share in common. a Relationship of It is a beautiful thing.

Daniels jumps into the conversation before I begin to interview Williams. He wants to tell me how he was accepted at college. Williams is beaming with joy and She deeds congratulations. “I knew you could do it.” 

The Rapidly changing topic and Daniels said that he just saw a new tree. a Video of Williams’ skydiving trip. 

“I’m doing it again next summer. You can join me … You know how dogs hang out of a car with the air blowing? That’s what it felt like for me, and it was like oh my god, just seeing the world, just being out there in the open 14,500 feet up and soaring.” It is a vivid and funny image that makes everyone laugh. and admire Williams’ fearlessness—and How she describes adventure has no Age limit 

DOROT, launched in 1976 and Translated to “generations” Hebrew text that aims to fight social isolation and More directly: the senior loneliness epidemic The organization’s intergenerational program pairs high schoolers with adults 65 and Over for Weekly Programming both Virtual and In-person at their New York office. 

It is lonely a Problems in public health 

The loneliness of being alone and According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, social isolation poses public health risk. and Prevention (CDC). According to the National Academies, approximately one quarter of senior citizens over 65 years old are socially isolated. of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reports. Social isolation increases people’s risk for heart disease and You can also die sooner. It’s also associated with a A 50% increase in dementia risk LGBTQ+ individuals are at greater risk and The loneliness of immigrants is a common feeling higher ratesAccording to research. 

“As a family doc and a primary care physician, but more so as a son, and a nephew, a caregiver, and a loved one to folks out there in my family and community, it’s plainly obvious to me that loneliness is driving a lot of hardship and illness,” Dr. Neil Patel, a Primary Care Doctor and At the chief of health PatinaIt is a non-profit organization that provides health care services to people aged 65 and older. The Sunday Review. The Seniors already feel lonely due to the pandemic. 

Coping with the loss of loved ones and health issues and Moving into smaller spaces can cause older adults to be more socially isolated than their younger peers. 

“We want folks to age well, with dignity [and] with confidence in the manner that they want,” Patel says he supports seniors being recognized for their strengths. and Ask them to tell you what is most important as they get older. 

According to him, people mistakenly believe that seniors are most concerned about their pain. and Patel is not concerned about his health, but he often discovers in his work how maintaining healthy social relationships instills the most sense. of Take pride and joy in aging adults’ lives. It’s no It is no surprise then that Williams has been a prolific writer. and Daniels have been bonded effortlessly over the years. a Spiel of chess, and Found a deeper connection Within one another. 

It was a connection They both desired it. 

“Emmett is like a son to me. We talk about anything and everything. We talk about what’s going on in his life, and that’s rewarding for me because young people don’t interact with elders as much—only their parents and their teachers, and it’s usually a yes or no answer,” Williams said. “He really pours out his heart and lets me in.”

Loneliness isn’t just an issue for older adults 

Daniels agrees. The hustle of school life, and He says that the demands to do well, especially in the college application process, were too much. Williams offered many benefits. a helpful supporter outside of The chaos is both for someone who has years of experience and the one without. of She has the experience to offer advice. and As a Genuine friend. Their time together is like Shabbat when he feels. of The Jewish Religion is the best place to rest. a He gets more time to slow down and cherish family. Williams is the exact opposite.

“Speaking with Antoinette… It’s a breath of fresh air. I can just have normal conversations and talk about what she’s interested in or what I’m interested in,” He says. “It just feels like the perfect disconnect and the perfect recharge.” 

Experts believe that seniors should be able to participate in society using unique methods beyond what is available for them as they age. 

“It is obvious that we need to prepare for a large increase in support networks in the future for this group of people,” says Stephen J. Shaw, a Data Scientist and Documentarian of Birthgap – Childless World, Who studies loneliness around the world, and calls it reality a Global humanitarian crisis Simply placing people in nursing homes cannot be the best answer to providing that support. We need to look at more integrative societies where we share a mutual responsibility for taking care of the old, whether they have children or not.”

Daniels has one last story for me before we hang up. 

He recalls playing chess in the previous game that was offered by the program. and how he hadn’t been able to go. Later, he made arrangements to reschedule and Williams will be the one to thank. Williams gave him some suggestions after he made it. of, “You made my day, you made my month, you made my year,” He says. 

“It made me feel like going beyond the program was justified, and there was meaning to it, and she appreciated it just as much as I.” He says that his entire family is familiar with these words. 

Williams still fondly recalls that moment. 

“I was heartbroken when he couldn’t be there the last day for us to share chess together and conversation,” She says. 

“And I made it up,” Daniels also added. If over a Future skydiving trips or a Casual game of Inchess a Williams coffee shop and Daniels shows that there is intergenerational friendship This is both possible and essential. of As people age, it is important to keep them connected.