A Fight Against Institutionalization
From early on in its history, care for and friendship with the elderly has been a defining aspect of the life
of Sant’Egidio. This intergenerational alliance began in 1972, when the first members of Sant’Egidio began encountering older people in poor neighborhoods. The members of the Community were high
school students at the time. They had no knowledge of the dramatic demographic transformations taking place in European and North American societies that would revolutionize old age. The young people of
Sant’Egidio did notice the hardship of loneliness and solitude, and wanted to respond to the simple desire of older people for companionship and support.
Our friendship with the elderly has remained constant over the years as the Community of Sant’Egidio spread all over the world. From the global North to the global South, every Community lives out a special love and regard for the elderly. We want to share their lives, their stories, their faith, and their difficulties.
This inter-generational friendship has led to a dynamic alliance: elders receive help and companionship from those who are younger, but they also give to others through their affection, friendship, and prayers. Our closeness to older people has reawakened a desire for life in all of us,
encouraging us to a deeper solidarity with people. That is why we call the alliance with the elderly “a school of humanity.”
Friendship with the elderly over all these years has given Sant’Egidio a wealth of experience and insight which we want to share with others in an effort to build a culture of solidarity and hospitality toward
Each week, in cities around the United States, members of our community visit older people in their homes and in nursing homes. We invite you to join us in this effort to build bridges
Campaigns And Appeals
The Elderly Our Future: Join us for a four-part webinar series The Elderly – Our Future, a conversation on the vision of dignified elderly care. Click Here for More Information
There is No Future Without the Elderly: An appeal that emerged over the months of the coronavirus crisis, to re-humanize our societies. To Learn More and Sign the Appeal Click Here
Notes to Our Elders: Due to the Pandemic, it has been harder, and at times even impossible, to visit our elderly friends living in nursing homes. Letters and cards are concrete signs of our love and friendship while we cannot be together. Click here for more information