Emil Girardi, 83, and Shipra Narruhn, 67, chat in Girardi's San Francisco apartment. They were paired through a nonprofit called Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, which aims to relieve isolation and loneliness.
Education may help brains cope with cognitive decline, and treatments for high blood pressure and other health problems may decrease dementia risk.
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"It's easier to sort of face the hard things in your life when you're not alone," says hospice chaplain Kerry Egan. "That's a big part of what a chaplain does, is she stays with you."
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Vivian Guzofsky, 88, holds a baby doll at Sunrise Senior Living in Beverly Hills, Calif. Guzofsky, who has Alzheimer's disease, is calm when taking care of the dolls.
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