Hello, everyone! My name is Emily Ultan and I am thrilled to join the Senior Services family as the new development manager at Senior Services. As I’ve become more familiar with my new role and more importantly, with the people we serve during a pandemic, a few things have become clearer to me, namely how fortunate I am! During the pandemic, I never needed to worry about where my next meal would come from; I had the privilege to don a mask, drive to the grocery store, do my shopping, and cook at home. I live with my partner, so I knew that I would see a friendly and caring face every day. I had access to technology that allowed me to call my loved ones so that I never felt too far away from them. And I am privileged to live in a body that currently allows me to perform all the physical tasks necessary to get through the day independently.
For many seniors, however, the COVID-19 pandemic brought implications far more significant than learning where the mute button is on Zoom. Safety mandates, while necessary, increased the potential for seniors to experience even more critical levels of isolation, loneliness, and/or hunger. The Senior Services team felt it vital to adjust our programs to ensure that the benefits of our services were still available to seniors who needed them. With the invaluable support of our volunteers, donors, and staff, we found a way, all together, to move forward.
Since the start of our fiscal year (July 1, 2020), the Senior Services team responded to 7,443 requests for information, assistance and referrals to community resources through our Help Line, which allows seniors to learn about their options for transportation, nutrition programs, home repairs, and more. Also, our Home Care program has offered over 20,000 hours of in-home personal care, while navigating the safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Public Health. When Meals-on-Wheels could no longer safely prepare hot meals for our participants, we shifted to delivering weekly frozen meals. This way, we ensured that each participant still received nutritious meals regularly, as well as a safe and friendly social interaction (often the only form of social interaction that our participants experienced on a regular basis). Since the start of our fiscal year, we have provided 172,181 meals to participants across multiple programs. And despite all of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we managed to safely keep The Elizabeth and Tab Williams Adult Day Center open!
None of this could have happened without you, our supporters.
As life begins to return to a “new normal,” please remember the seniors who still need assistance performing everyday tasks. As the kids sign up for summer camp, please remember the seniors whose day-to-day lives will still include very little social interaction. As we get together with friends for outdoor barbeques, please remember the seniors who still need nutritious meals delivered to their doorsteps. This has truly been a year like no other, and I hope that we continue to remember the seniors for whom the return to “normalcy” does not mean the same return to freedom, independence, and social interaction that it does for others.
But with your support, we can help create a new and better “normal” for many older adults in the community! Your generosity can truly change a senior’s life for the better. Please consider making a gift of any size to Senior Services and help older adults remain at home for as long as possible, living with dignity. I would love to meet you! Give me a call or send me an email at 336-721-3408 or email@example.com. And thank you so very much for your continued support of Senior Services.