By Renee Hansen, Senior Services Public Relations Coordinator
Senior Services provides programs that are essential to the well being of older adults in Midland County such as Meals on Wheels, Transportation, Memory Support, Adult Day Care, Counseling, Support Groups, Education, Home Care, Handyman Services, Activity & Dining Centers, Care Coordination, Prescription & Medicare Assistance and Volunteer Opportunities.
Senior Services helps thousands of people living in Midland County. Eugene Rytlewski, for example, found a wealth of help through the services they provide. When Eugene needed assistance caring for his wife, Florence in 2011, he knew exactly where to turn, Senior Services. Eugene knew all the services the agency had to offer because he had been volunteering for over 20 years. Eugene, at one point, delivered meals five days a week. Meals on Wheels clients are individuals that are 60 years of age or older, considered home-bound and find preparing meals difficult. He says, “Delivering meals gives him something to do and to look forward to.”
So, when Eugene needed assistance caring for his wife, he contacted Senior Services. The couple was provided a Care Coordinator, Allison Rossi Utter. A Care Coordinator works in partnership with older adults and their caregivers to identify needs and coordinate care. Allison met with Florence and Eugene in their home to assess their needs and set-up respite care. A respite aide came to their home twice a week to provide personal care assistance to Florence and light housekeeping while Eugene was able to volunteer and run errands. He states, “The service was outstanding.” Respite provides the caregiver with the break they need and peace of mind while ensuring their loved one is still receiving the care they need.
Almost a year ago, Eugene suffered a stroke. Once he returned home from the hospital, he met with his Care Coordinator. Allison assessed his needs and set up Meals on Wheels for him. She also explained other community resources he was entitled to and assisted him with applying for these benefits. Eugene says, “Senior Services has saved my life. They are a good support to me and I don’t know what I would do without them.” Eugene has recovered from his stroke and has resumed delivering meals three days a week. He states, “This keeps me going.”
Carolyn Krotzer and her mother Monica also were helped by Senior Services. Carolyn picked up a copy of Senior Services’ newspaper at a local business and noticed an article about the Creating Confident Caregivers (CCC) class. She had been taking on a lot of caregiving responsibilities for her mom and thought the course would really help. She signed up and went to the class. “Once I started attending the CCC class, everything opened right up for me. I learned so much about what Senior Services had to offer,” says Carolyn.
Carolyn continues, “Mom was having changes with her memory and I didn’t feel I could safely leave her home alone when I went to work.” So she met with a Care Coordinator and Monica started attending Seasons Adult Day services. Carolyn states, “Seasons has been a life saver to me and my mom. If it wasn’t for Seasons, I would have had to quit my job to provide care for her. Since mom started attending, she is much happier and I’ve seen improvement in her demeanor.”
Monica also received Meals on Wheels and used Senior Services’ Transportation services. Carolyn says, “Since I work, the Transportation services were essential and the staff and drivers were always so accommodating with changes in my schedule. I could work and have peace of mind knowing my mom was well cared for. I am so happy I found out about Senior Services when I needed them.”
Senior Services’ education programs are also very beneficial services. Donna Neve and her husband Bob have participated in both the Diabetes Self-Management Program and the Chronic Pain Self-Management program. They joined the diabetes class because they both had diabetes and were looking for more information and new ways to cope with it. Donna was such an enthusiastic participant that she was asked to train as a coach for future diabetes and chronic pain classes.
“When I first came to the class, I expected that it would just be somebody standing up in front of the class and talking, but it turned out to involve a lot of class participation. I liked the way that people encouraged each other. If you had a problem, the class came up with a list of different ways that you could handle it in your everyday life.”
Donna says that both classes have made a big difference in her life. She and Bob recommend these classes to anyone dealing with diabetes or chronic pain. “It’s about everyday living,” she says, “not just book work.”
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Senior Services call 989-633-3700.