In the days before Governor Pritzker issued the shelter in place order in Illinois, I was overcome with feelings of insecurity. Stories of government mandated lock-downs and climbing infection rates had already begun to dominate traditional news outlets. On social media, friends shared pictures of packed parking lots and notes of relief for having scored a 32-pack of toilet paper the week prior. In the building I live in, a neighbor struck up a well-meaning, but unsettling conversation, “At least we’re young. We should be fine.”
Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.
Topics: community, senior living, intergenerational housing, senior independence, food security, senior hunger, Older Americans Month, senior health, aging in community, intergenerational relationships, senior isolation
There is a saying about motherhood; The days are long and the years are short. In our current situation, quarantining in a house with twin four year olds, a dog that sheds and barks like it’s her job and a spouse who also works full time – the days are especially long. Almost five years ago, after years of trying and a very good doctor, I gave birth to twin girls, Adelaide and Isabella. My husband and I do not have a lot of family that lives in the state, so from the time we came home with our bundles of joy we were on our own island of overtired parents, a very confused dog, and two babies.
With a recent documentary as well as the upcoming film starring Tom Hanks, the iconic children's program Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood is having a renaissance moment. At H.O.M.E., we've been inspired by the show, too.
When I met Jack Lyle five years ago, he was still lifting weights and sailing regularly at age 93.
Jack was active, and fiercely independent. It seems that he had been that way his entire life, and remained that way to the end.
Jack had been a Tuskegee Airman, and we learned about his death in his obituary in early January. This Black History month, we remember him.
"I've seen the beautiful work you've done!"
Priscilla is a 72 year old homeowner and lives on a fixed income.
"I live paycheck to paycheck - only my Social Security. I don't have savings. How can you save if everything goes to the last penny?"
It was a chilly day but Jean insisted on waiting for H.O.M.E.'s Shopping Bus outside the building where she lives in an affordable supportive living apartment.
When the bus pulled up, her neighbors joined her on the curb to go to the store to purchase food and other home supplies. The Shopping Bus program, supported by donors like you, helps seniors like Jean get goods they need. But it also helps seniors stay engaged and fulfilled.
Maintaining independence and quality of life for the older adult population is moving to the frontline within programs and residences for older adults.
At H.O.M.E., we strive to help our residents keep their independence for as long as they are able. Good Life Senior Residences offered at Pat Crowley House and Nathalie Salmon House gives low-income older adults the chance to hold onto their independence within a communal living setting.
Central to H.O.M.E.'s mission is to help low-income seniors maintain their independence. We do that by providing housing and housing support services. Often, we are faced with the question: "If you are 'helping' someone, doesn't that mean that they aren't 'independent?'"
It's a fair question. And the answer is actually another question: "Well, how do you define independence?"
After receiving an email from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and being a newbie to the term “SNAP Gap”, I was prompted to do a Google search to learn more! And, as I suspected it had nothing to do with snaps on comfy clothing.
This month, we celebrate Older American’s Month and encourage all of our community members to “Engage at Every Age” to enrich physical, mental, and emotional well-being at each stage of life. Being active, participating in social activities, sharing wisdom with members of another generation, and taking steps to ensure mental and physical health are great examples of how to be engaged.