Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today


Military and Veterans Discount

Contests and


Free AARP E-Books

Protecting Yourself Online for Dummies

Here's the mini guide you need to steer through the hazards with confidence.

Learn More


AARP Games - Play Now!


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

News & Politics Forums

Share your opinions on news and current events that matter most to you.

Join the discussion »

AARP Auto Buying Program



Inspire Awards 2012 Honoree

Irene Zola, Crusader for the Elderly

Irene Zola, AARP The Magazine Inspire Awards 2012 Honoree

Irene Zola — Photo by Chris Crisman

Irene Zola loved to boast to friends about her elderly mother's independence. Not only did her mom, Faye, live by herself into her 90s; she also "drove until she was 91 and played piano at family functions," says Zola, 66. After a stroke at 97, however, Faye was left partially paralyzed and had to move into a nursing home. Her first night there, Zola recalls, "I found my mother moaning in bed with all her clothing and bedding soaked in urine." Faye passed away a few months later, but Zola couldn't sleep, thinking about her mother's plight. Not long afterward she founded Lifeforce in Later Years, a nonprofit whose goal is to improve the quality of life for every community's oldest members. The first project? Morningside Village, which pairs 57 seniors in Manhattan with 70 volunteers, who help with such tasks as grocery shopping, preparing meals, and getting to doctors' appointments. Morningside has been such a success that Zola has put together guidelines to help other communities across the country develop similar groups. "The volunteers get very close to their seniors," Zola says. "They really start to feel as though they're family."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points