It is not always easy to say “no” to an aging parent’s or grandparent’s request for help around the house–especially when we know how hard it can be to ask in the first place. Even those of us who haven’t yet joined the 40 million family caregivers in our nation may still struggle to provide the support necessary so our aging loved ones can thrive independently at home. Sometimes the weight of these tasks, or the difficulty of asking for help with them, can overshadow the genuine, deep connections family members can enjoy.
Thankfully, our region is home to a network of volunteers who are ready and willing to assist with some of these tasks, allowing both parties to set aside some of the to-do lists and genuinely connect through meaningful activities instead.
Monadnock at Home and Cheshire Village @ Home are organizations that aim to provide our local seniors with the support and practical means to live and thrive in their homes and communities. Their trained volunteers are often also retired and looking for social connection, or a way to pay the kindness forward.
“Some of our volunteers also use our services,” Says Meg Whittle, Assistant Director of Cheshire Village @ Home. “For example, someone who needs help getting groceries once a week because they can no longer drive safely may also be a volunteer making daily calls to check in on others who live alone.” Asking for help as we start to age can be difficult, and sometimes offering help in return makes it easier, while enriching the lives of both people.
Both organizations provide the following services, and more:
- transportation to medical appointments or errands
- handyman assistance in the home
- check-in calls
- companion visits
- computer assistance
Delegating such tasks to trusted volunteers not only enables you to spend more meaningful time with your own loved ones, but it expands seniors’ social circles. The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) identifies lack of social connection as a growing concern for seniors, with 43% of those over 65 reporting that they feel lonely on a regular basis. The 17% of American seniors who currently live in isolation are likely to suffer significant negative health impacts from their situation. Village-to-village organizations like these across the country aim to reduce isolation, increase independence, and enhance the purpose of life for those involved.
Each organization serves different towns and offers slightly different services, so contact them today to find out how they can support your family:
Cheshire Village @ Home, The Keene Senior Center (603) 903-9680 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monadnock at Home, (603) 371 0809 email@example.com
To find out about other supports for seniors and caregivers, contact ServiceLink Aging and Disability Resource Center, a one-stop connector to all the services and supports New Hampshire caregivers need.