Eye On the Elderly: Ohio Increasingly Relies on Volunteers to Handle Aging Adult Affairs

Malcolm Tanksley visited Ruby at the nursing home nearly every weekend. The pair didn’t meet until Ruby was in her seventies, but for the last decade of her life, he was the only family she had. “After thirteen years as her guardian, she thought I was really family,” Tanksley said. “She had dementia to the point where she didn’t talk to anyone else, but she always remembered me.”

He recalls taking her to see a fireworks show, playing hundreds of games of bingo and observing her glee when he brought her birthday and Christmas presents. Ruby loved to be pampered--cozy robes and scented lotions were her favorites.