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.
H.O.M.E. is a special place for our family, and is so for reasons both unique and universal. In my 20s I was looking for somewhere to donate all my furniture when I moved. I don’t remember how I found H.O.M.E., but all of it went to the residents. Although I have given nominal and increasing amounts every year since then, I really knew little about H.O.M.E. until I finally visited.
February is American Heart Month!
As the bustle and excitement of the holiday season wraps up and the new year sets in, we all know February can be a rough month, especially for seniors who may have a hard time getting out and about. Here are four ways to get heart healthy despite the winter weather.
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.
“I remember thinking, ‘I have no home now. I’m destitute.’”
Natalie didn't know what to do when she found herself with no where to live. Thanks to donors like you, Natalie found a home and a community that supports her in H.O.M.E.'s Intergenerational Housing program. You gave her hope.
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?"
How big of a problem is social isolation among older adults?
I had the pleasure of presenting to Rush Generations members last month, where both Dr. Alexander Sasha Rackman and I both addressed social isolation from our individual perspectives: Dr. Rackman being a geriatrician and myself being a gerontologist and social worker.
It feels like the summer has just started, but unfortunately the time for me to say goodbye has come. These past seven weeks have gone by so much faster than I expected.
I am so thankful and blessed to have worked alongside coworkers who were willing to let me take part in their role in the company and with residents who were willing to open their home to me.