Reimagine Aging News: May 2015

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In The News

CEO Deb Taylor’s monthly column, which is published in many Minnesota newspapers, focuses on how we can Reimagine Aging to better serve seniors and their caregivers. The most recent newspaper column is available here.

If you know of a caregiver or older adult who would benefit from Senior Community Services' many supportive programs and services, please encourage them to contact us. They can stay connected with us by doing three things: 'LIKE' us on FACEBOOK, 'FOLLOW' us on TWITTER, and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter here.
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one with a tax-deductible
gift to Senior 
Community 
Services.Your gift 
of $35, 
$60, $150 or an amount
of your choosing will make
life better for low-income
seniors who 
need help maintaining independence. 
 
You may give securely online at www.seniorcommunity.org 
and click on Support.
 
Checks may be mailed to: 
Senior Community Services
Attn: Development 

10201 Wayzata Blvd. Suite 335
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of seniors.


May is Older Americans Month, Reimagine Aging


In the closing months of his Presidency, John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month, later to be renamed Older Americans Month. In 1963, only 17 million Americans were 65 or older. 
 
Today, more than 45 million seniors live and work among us,
and that number will only grow as the 78-million-strong baby
boom generation continues to age. The boomers started
turning 65 in 2011 and ever since the demand for senior
services has increased. 
 
Ahead, there are challenges as we enable older adults and caregivers to take charge of their lives, to take steps to ensure independence, and to enjoy a full life of meaning for as long as possible. It's what we all want, right?
 
We place a priority on remaining engaged.  Loneliness and isolation are caustic to the spirit and in time can lead to depression and physical health problems. That's why the seniors centers we operate, thanks to the help of many volunteers, are so important. They provide socialization opportunities for seniors to come together for fellowship,enjoy a meal, take in a ball game, play cards, visit a museum or take a drive through the countryside. As one senior told me, "Looking back, I was so lonely and sad.Coming to my local senior center changed my life, and extended the quality years I still have."  Comments like this motivate us to do even more for the older adults among us. 
 
That's one way we help Minnesotan's Reimagine Aging, bringing the proper mix of resources around the senior (and their caregiver) to help them enjoy a higher quality of life. 
 
Our Household and Outdoor Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program is another example. HOME provides low cost services to help seniors live independently in their own homes. The program mobilizes big-hearted people - volunteers and trusted professionals - to provide affordable home maintenance and chore services. This network of reliable workers and volunteers provide indoor and outdoor chore services to residents ages 60 and older in many of the suburban communities of Hennepin County. Similar programs exist across the state.
 
And by visiting seniorcommunity.org, you can order chore services for a loved one. As spring unfolds, the need for help with yard cleanup, window-washing, lawn mowing, and painting is growing.
 
Eleanor, 80, loves her cozy suburban home, but she once worried her days of independence might be ending. Eleanor struggled to keep up with household tasks like window-washing, minor repairs, raking leaves and snow shoveling. Daughter LeeAnn decided to investigate and discovered the HOME program. 
 
Soon, a group of enthusiastic young volunteers from a local church arrived to help with spring cleaning and yard work.  And an affordable handyman fixed a loose downspout on her roof.
 
Eleanor is content again, free of worry. "Thanks to Senior Community Services, I can continue to live in my own home. I'm so grateful for all they do."
 
 
And daughter LeeAnn is grateful for the respite. Working full-time, she struggled to manage caregiving duties and household chores at her mother's home.  "After awhile, you can run out of steam," she says. "Senior Community Services' volunteers and staff are partners with us and the result is so much better than what I could ever do on my own."
 
That's what feels good when we Reimagine Aging - life's made better.
 
Sincerely,

Deb Taylor
Chief Executive Officer 

 

Know someone with home maintenance needs? 
 

Chore services may be purchased through Senior Community Services' HOME store.

 



"Last year, 3,848 volunteers donated nearly 88,000 hours of service. That's the equivalent of nearly 2,200 people working a 40 hour week for us. Amazing!" 


 
Volunteers are amazing. They're a major source of hands-on help for seniors and caregivers struggling to maintain independence. They help rake, paint, or support the many senior centers in our communities.
 
Last year, 3,848 volunteers donated nearly 88,000 hours of service. That's the equivalent of nearly 2,200 people working a 40 hour week for us. Amazing! That's a lot of extra help, and frankly volunteers are why Senior Community Services is able to serve 25,000 metro area seniors and caregivers annually.
 
During April, we visited with many volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Month. We attended several volunteer events to visit with these amazing friends and thank them for their important work. "And do you know what we heard from them?  They love being volunteers. The feeling of doing good is satisfying," says CEO Deb Taylor.
 
They remind us that we can make a difference. Being a blessing to others is one of the purposes for our lives as humans - to make a difference with our lives -  to be of service.
 
Each volunteer discovers that every single day by the many ways they enrich their life and the lives of others. We're grateful and Senior Community Services' clients are grateful.
 

 

"It's reassuring to the clients that they are dealing with a nonprofit that has served our communities well for 65 years"    

 

                     ~ Sharon Burnham, Donor

Bloomington resident Sharon Burnham has seen it in her own neighborhood - a growing number of elderly residents, some struggling to maintain their independence in their long-time home. That's why she financially supports Senior Community Services. "The need for their services is great and growing," Sharon explains. "The focus on low-income individuals has particular appeal for me as I feel my donations are being utilized where the need is greatest," she adds.
 
Beginning in 1990, as an employee of First Bank, Sharon served on the Friends of HOME Board until 2011.  She later served for several years on the Senior Community Services board until her retirement last December. "It's reassuring to the clients that they are dealing with a nonprofit that has served our communities well for 65 years," says Sharon. "They're constantly reevaluating senior needs and tailoring its programs to best meet those needs. The well-diversified, strong board is a great support for the staff and helps bring 'best practices' to the nonprofit world."

Stay Connected With CareNextion


Are you caring for an aging loved one? Stay connected to caregiving from anywhere with www.carenextion.org. This free and secure online tool strengthens support networks through centralized coordination of care, task assignment and journaling.

You can also access helpful resources. Visit www.carenextion.org for more information or to speak with a staff person call 612-770-7005.

The Reimagine Aging Institute is the public awareness arm of Senior Community Services as we reach out to the community via the news media.  Through the Institute, we illuminate aging issues of broad relevance for seniors, their families, and Minnesota communities.

Visit the Institute's web page here.  And be sure to watch for media stories of interest to families with older loved ones and friends.

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