Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Guest blog from Senior Alliance

Friendship Has No Age Limit
By: Linda DeVore
Program Manager
The Senior Alliance

The Senior Alliance, (TSA) Area Agency on Aging 1-C is a non-profit organization serving the 34 communities in southern and western Wayne County. TSA’s mission is to coordinate a comprehensive network of services to enable older persons to function as independently as possible in the community environment, which best suits their needs. TSA provides advocacy, programming, planning, contracting, funding and personnel necessary to accomplish the foregoing purpose. Services are also provided to individuals with physical disabilities. The people we serve come from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities.

Oftentimes, when we think of the words “diversity” or “inclusion” we think of the color of someone’s skin. But, diversity also encompasses age, ability, knowledge, and much more. One of my favorite sayings is, “Friendship has no age limit”—something we strongly believe at The Senior Alliance.

TSA has a comprehensive network of nearly 50 programs and services. In the past year, The Senior Alliance has had remarkable success in all of its programs and has continued to provide services to meet the needs of hundreds of seniors. Older Americans and the disabled have witnessed many turbulent times in the history of our country including World Wars, The Great Depression, and tragedies of diverse kinds. They have made it through those times with great resolve and dignity and are a valuable asset to the next generation. Without the fundamentals they have laid, this country would not be what it is today.

One of the programs that TSA provides is the Holiday Meals program, which delivers meals to seniors who otherwise would not get a hot meal on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Labor Day. Seniors receiving these meals are homebound due to disability or frailty. Many of them may have no family or friends to assist them or visit with them during the holidays. Meals on Wheels does not deliver on holidays, so programs like Holiday Meals through TSA ensure vulnerable and delicate seniors receive a meal for that day.
For many, this brief encounter with someone from the outside is very beneficial to the welfare of the senior and leaves a lasting impression on their hearts and minds, along with the actual nutrition that the meal provides. These seniors look forward to the companionship and of the individual bringing the meals, if only for a few minutes. Sometimes, this is the only opportunity that they have to speak to another human being. How difficult this must be. I can only imagine how this brief visit tugs at the heart strings of the senior. The Holiday Meals program has managed to reach its arms far into the community. Schools and churches participate by having children create beautifully colorful placemats that are delivered along with the meal; many times these seniors keep these placemats for the entire year as a keepsake.

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