Maria Sorriento is Marilou Pries' closest friend and supporter. For Pries, spending quality time with Sorriento fills a void many seniors may be experiencing.

At age 77, Pries says she has lost many friends and family members, so understanding her value and purpose was truly important to her.

“So you really have to put the effort into changing the way things were for you and get involved in new things,” said Pries.

New things include finding a friend, who also happens to be her caregiver. Pries met Sorriento through the Carelinks Seniors program.

“I always wanted to help people. And I said when I retired, that I wanted to have a purpose in life, and I was going to give back to the community however I could," said Sorriento.

Through Sorriento, Pries has found a sense of belonging and even family.

“The first day I met her, it was just like we've known each other forever. And we’re like Lucy and Ethel,” Sorriento said. “She's the Lucy, of course, and I'm Ethel. I just follow along because she's just amazing. She's like my grandmother. She's like my best friend. And I look forward to our Fridays.”

“The caregivers, somebody once said to me, are born with an extra gene, and it's called the care gene. And I don't even know how many of them realize how important that is to us. It really, really, truly is,” said Pries.

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