With it being an exciting October here in Chicago it feels appropriate to start this blog with a quote by a baseball great. Jackie Robinson once said “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Here at HOME we pride ourselves on the impact we make on the lives of the seniors we serve. We would not be able to do what we do without the support of our volunteers and donors.
Here are five ways that our supporters helped us keep seniors active and independent in 2016.
- You helped seniors socialize
Did you know that 29% of seniors in Cook County live alone? Often times these seniors lack the resources to stay connected to their communities. Social Isolation is often linked to poor physical and mental health outcomes. That is why we value community and inclusion here at H.O.M.E. We offer the seniors living in our intergenerational homes the opportunity to attend community outings including movies, museums, and shopping. The shopping bus experience is also an opportunity for seniors that may live in an apartment alone to join their neighbors on a grocery shopping run.
- You helped seniors gain access to healthy food
A Greater Chicago Food Depository survey found that 72 percent of older adults interviewed were determined to be at “high nutritional risk.” Almost a third reported being unable to obtain food because of an illness or physical limitation even though they could afford food. H.O.M.E.’s wheelchair accessible bus serves older adults living in 35 affordable senior buildings throughout Chicago. Seniors are given free, safe transportation from their residence to a nearby store where they can shop for groceries, medications, and other household items. In some cases, the Shopping Bus is the only option for seniors to safely, affordably, and frequently access healthy food. One client told us “I am very pleased and satisfied with H.O.M.E.’s shopping bus; I don't know what I would do without it. I look forward to it every other week."
- You helped keep seniors warm
H.O.M.E. volunteers mean the world to seniors during Chicago's brutal winters. The winter can be costly and dangerous for seniors who lack the financial means or physical ability to winterize their homes themselves. H.O.M.E.’s Weatherization Program provides a safe, simple, and affordable option to low-income seniors in Chicago. Through our Upkeep and Repair Program we are able to make necessary, and in many cases emergency, repairs to seniors’ homes. Making these much needed repairs also keep seniors safe in their homes and help prevent falls.
- You helped seniors move
I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say “Gosh, moving is so much fun.” In fact it’s a hassle. Many of Chicago’s older, low-income renters experience housing problems such as overcrowding, lack of complete plumbing or kitchen facilities, and rents that cost more than a third of their income. Often the best solution is to move, but the process of moving for seniors is especially difficult financially and logistically. That’s where our moving program comes in. Our Moving Program offers transitional services and support before, during, and after the move to facilitate a physically and emotionally safe relocation experience for each client. H.O.M.E. partners with vetted commercial movers to offer assistance to low-income seniors moving within the City of Chicago.
- You helped keep seniors healthy and active
Health and wellness is important to us here at HOME. Staying active has health benefits. Residents in our Good Life Senior Residences participate in monthly health and wellness education activities as well as health screenings.
Our work would not be possible without the support of our generous donors. Consider making a donation in honor of an older adult in your life.
Or better yet, become a Partner in Independence to help low-income seniors all year long. Being a monthly donor at any level makes a big impact. In fact for the cost of one pumpkin spice latte per month, you can pay for six grab bars! That means that six seniors will reduce their risk of falling in their home because of you. Become a monthly donor by choosing the "monthly" frequency when you make your gift today.
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