Last week I delivered meals-on-wheels to a new customer. It is not something I get to do very often but this was an unusual circumstance.
This sweet older lady lives at the top of a nearly half mile long driveway that can only be navigated with a four-wheel drive vehicle, which I happen to have.
It was slow going but well worth the effort to bring a week’s supply of Savory Select meals to her and to visit for a few minutes. Mable (not her real name) is quite ill and lives alone. She has family who check on her, but they are not able to see her daily to help with meals. The Savory Select frozen meals can easily be heated in the microwave each day, which will be a big help to Mable. One of our long time Senior Service volunteers has a four-wheel drive vehicle, and has offered to deliver the meals to Mable each week and stay for awhile to visit with her.
Mable is just one of the thousands of frail older adults we serve each year in Clermont County, providing the extra help they need to stay at home a little longer. Many, like Mable, have family members who can help, but most are alone. For some, Clermont Senior Services is the only family they have.
As I drove back to the office from Mable’s home, I reminisced with myself about how much I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Clermont Senior Services family for the past twenty years. Lois Brown Dale had a truly remarkable vision when she, along with the support of the community, created Clermont Senior Services over 40 years ago. Over the past four decades our dedicated team of employees and volunteers has delivered millions of meals-on-wheels and driven millions of miles to take seniors to the doctor for essential medical care. These services, along with in-home personal care, adult day care, home repair, adult protection, and many other services, have prevented tens of thousands of our most frail older citizens from having to move to a nursing home.
A couple of stories about other seniors we serve will help illustrate how important these services are, and how much they are appreciated.
Mrs. B is 88 and lives alone in one of our senior apartments. She no longer drives so she uses transportation services to get to doctor appointments. She has difficulty getting around and gets dizzy easily, so a homecare worker does grocery shopping for Mrs. B, helps her with a bath, and does some light housekeeping. Mrs. B has one son but he works two jobs to make ends meet so he cannot help much. Mrs. B. said, “I don’t know what I would do without Senior Services.”
Mrs. S is 92 years old. She lives alone in her own home and looks forward to her homecare worker’s weekly visits. Mrs. S has no family so she uses transportation for doctor appointments. She is still able to cook so she doesn’t need meals-on-wheels. Mrs. S recently wrote us to say, “I want to thank you for all that you do. I could have never stayed in my home if it hadn’t been for all the good help I have had in the past several years from Senior Services. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
On Nov. 8 the Senior Services Levy will be on the ballot, as it must be every five years. This will be a renewal levy, which means it will not raise taxes. As these stories illustrate, your support of this levy is making a difference. Please vote for the Senior Services Levy on November 8, or better yet, request an absentee ballot to vote early. You can call the Board of Elections at (513) 732-7275 to request an application for absentee ballot, or call our office at (513) 724-1255, and we will mail an application to you.
George Brown is the executive director of Clermont Senior Services.