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52 Stories of Ageless Friendship
Allison and Steve Blay
With Friends Across the Ages Volunteers
Do you want to be a better friend? This is a book about recovering the lost art of friendship.
Bridging Generations: 52 Stories of Ageless Friendship contains transformative tales of companionship between nursing home residents and volunteers. Woven through the narratives are ten building blocks for forging bonds with people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
The stories offer brief snapshots of compelling people such as Annie Mae, who as a child defied her mother and cut a hole in her feed sack dress. . . Hugh, who caught a rattlesnake with his shoelace to make $10. . . Nora and Bebo, whose birthday wishes were immediately granted. . . Bob, the quadriplegic who went skydiving. . . and Moses, the first Black welder in North Florida.
Heartwarming, poignant, humorous, instructive, and inspiring, the book will certainly appeal to those who visit or care for elders. More broadly, this is a book about forming friendships in unexpected ways. It testifies to the healing power of communication, music, laughter, celebrating, and just being present with someone. Come discover the power of ageless friendship!
Steve and Allison Blay were fresh out of college when what began as a short stint as nursing home volunteers became a lifelong passion. The couple founded Friends Across the Ages, a nursing home outreach program that later received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the United Way. Nearly 25 years later, they have trained hundreds of volunteers to visit residents of nursing homes, many of whom have no other regular visitors. They live in Gainesville, Florida with their two teenage children, who volunteer with them.
“Three cheers for Steve and Allison Blay and their new book, Bridging Generations, a practical and inspiring guidebook for nurturing friendships with older adults.” — Missy Buchanan, speaker and author of From Dry Bones to Living Hope
“Everyone needs a friend. With over 50 stories of courage, determination, and humor, Bridging Generations, a top-notch book by Steve and Allison Blay, has golden nuggets for everyone wanting to develop communication skills and meaningful friendships.” –- M. Violet Asmuth, Ph.D., Communication Studies