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“Help Our Neighbors” helps senior citizens in the their homes


Fri, Dec 28th, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Health & Wellness

An organization called Help Our Neighbors can be the key to helping Senior Citizens stay in their homes and active in the community by providing services they need to stay independent. The services that the Help Our Neighbors organization assists with make the life of a senior citizen easier and less worrisome.

Help Our Neighbors serves the city of Chatfield and the surrounding area including any area serviced by the Chatfield Ambulance Service. Help Our Neighbors’ trained volunteers can assist with many activities. One such activity which is desperately needed this time of year is snow removal. Other times of the year outdoor chores are offered including lawn mowing, raking leaves, washing windows, gardening and gutter cleaning.

Transportation services are offered by Help Our Neighbors which can be in town or out of town trips for appointments, errands, or social events. Light housekeeping, vacuuming, dusting, and laundry services are available from Help Our Neighbors volunteers to help senior citizens with their daily chores in their home.

An important service offered by Help Our Neighbors is a Home Safety Check. This service includes a furnace filter check, smoke alarm check, extension cord use, safety practices in kitchens, keeping window blind and drapery cords secured, determining if there is chipping or peeling paint in the home, using safe furniture, and assessing general safety precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.

Additionally, Help Our Neighbors offers Caregiver Support services, which can give caretakers a short break from the responsibilities of caring for a loved one. Respite care is also offered for help during times of emergencies or crisis.

Help Our Neighbors also provides Friendly Visitor services including phone calls and in person visits to socialize. According to its website, www.honseniorpartners.org, “friendly visitor is a service for seniors who are socially isolated and live alone or are homebound.” All of the Help Our Neighbor volunteers have gone through a background check so a senior citizen can feel comfortable having a volunteer visit them in their home to play cards, talk, or anything else that interests the homebound person. Maintenance and Repair service is also available through Help Our Neighbors which includes light bulb replacement, painting, furnace filter change, etc.

Keeping senior citizens active in the community in the form of Community Outreach is a vital service provided by Help Our Neighbors as it provides wellness seminars, health fairs, and social events. Upcoming events in January 2013 include Yoga class, Tai Chi class, Book Club, Coffee and Conversation meetings, and a Community Health Fair.

Many Chatfield area churches and businesses have partnered for the Help Our Neighbors organization. These include Chatfield Lutheran Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, Olmsted Medical - Chatfield Clinic, The Gathering Place located at the United Methodist Church, Chosen Valley Community Foundation, Root River State Bank, and the Chatfield Booster Club. The organization is supported, in part, by a Community Service/Community Services Development Grant from the Department of Human Services (DHS).

According to a pamphlet by Help Our Neighbors, “a sliding fee scale has been established to provide these affordable services to senior adults in order for them to live independently in their home they love.” In addition, on the Help Our Neighbor website it states that “no one is ever denied services because of an inability to pay.”

Donations for the Help Our Neighbors organization are greatly appreciated and the organization states, “When you invest your dollars in Help Our Neighbors, you can be confident that your money is well spent. All of your donation goes directly to programs, rides, activities, and information that allows seniors to live well and age with dignity.”

Volunteers are needed for Help Our Neighbors and an application can be found on the website (www.honseniorpartners.org). Time commitments for volunteers differ depending on the type of volunteer service, but can be as little as one hour or once a month. For additional information contact Sue A. Awes at (507) 251-0520 or email Sue at director@honseniorpartners.org.

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