Debra believes that keeping our clients moving, both physically and cognitively is vital for good health. As we age we stop working, we don’t see our friends and family as often, we find it harder to do everyday tasks, and before we realize it we have become secluded, lonely and board. This, I am sure was not the vision we had for our “golden years”.
Debra has developed a wonderful program for some of our clients called the “Senior Helpers” Volunteer Program in which any of our clients are eligible to join if they wish. We discuss at length with our clients about their life and interests, and take into consideration their physical and cognitive abilities. We then find several volunteer opportunities for that particular client to choose from. Every client is doing something different. Each volunteer opportunity is tailored to that client and caregiver’s interest, desire and commitment level. This program has significantly changed the lives of our clients. It is truly amazing to see our client’s blossom with this unique program.
Maybe your mom knits. She and her caregiver can make blankets to donate to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the hospitals or a Battered Woman’s Shelter. If you love animals, we can help at a local Animal Shelter. Perhaps, you would like to volunteer at Geva Theater and see a free show. One of our “Senior Helpers” is teaching computer skills, for the Digital Literacy Program through the Literacy Volunteers. While doing this he helps people fill out job applications on-line. It is so wonderful to see our clients “awake” again and actually ask to go out and participate in life. Home Helpers is always coming up with ideas and programs for our clients and caregivers. Volunteering in the community gives our clients a way to feel needed and appreciated. It gets them motivated to keep going. This program has brought smiles to many of our clients and caregivers. It has been a huge success. Call or e-mail your questions or comments to Debra (585) 598-4539 DKostiw@homehelpers.cc
Ed and Josie volunteer at the Mission Shares Food Pantry. Mission Shares is an emergency food cupboard and a store for people to get free clothing and toiletries. Ed has a special place in his heart for Mission Shares. He looks forward to their trips every week. Ed says volunteering at Mission Shares makes him feel like a “million dollars”. They visit Mission Shares once a week and hang up clothing in the store and stock canned goods in the pantry. www.missionshareoutreach.org
Home Helpers client Bill and his care partner Susan volunteer at Scottsville Animal Hospital and Adoption Center. Bill has a love of animals so this was a perfect fit. Many dogs and cats are anxiously waiting for loving familes to adopt them.
Bill and Susan come once a week to play with the cats and they can choose any dog to take out in the enclousure for some quality play time, or a walk on the path. Both Bill and his furry friends enjoy the interaction.
The “Little Green Bookshelf” is a program where “Senior Helper” Jim and caregiver Jeanette adopted a table top bookshelf and keep it stocked full of books provided by the Literacy Volunteers. The shelf has children, teen and adult books that are free to the public. They simply check to see what types of books need to be restocked and then ensure there are a variety of books to choose from. This is a great match for one of our clients who is a retired teacher and wanted something to do when he feels up to it.
Home Helpers realizes that animals bring many benefits and smiles to our clients. Studies show that petting a dog or cat can actually release endorphins or “feel good” hormones into the body. This can help you feel calmer and it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Home Helpers offers free furry Friend Visits to some of our clients.
One of our clients family told us at his funeral service that their Dad “talked about that dog Smokie every day until the day he died.”
Co-Sponsored by Home Helpers, Best Buy and Baywinde
On Tuesday March 5th, 2013 Home Helpers, Best Buy Geek Squad and Baywinde held an amazing event for Baywinde residents and the community. Computer 101 Geeks & Greeks computer class for all to enjoy a day of learning and get your questions answered. We began with a large group overview about the basics of computers and different types of computers to buy. Then we split up into several smaller groups, E-mail, Facebook, and internet searching. Everyone was able to decide which smaller session to attend.
After the breakout sessions, Best Buy raffled off a $200.00 HP Photo Smart wireless printer and Baywinde treated us to a wonderful spread of Greek foods. The feedback after the event was fantastic. Everyone felt more comfortable with computers and many said they learned something new. This was Home Helpers and Best Buys second computer class together. Forty Five people were in attendance. Look for future computer classes with Home Helpers and Best Buy.
We at Home Helpers are always looking for new and exciting things to do with our clients. We put together a “Facebook for Seniors Class” and partnered with Best Buy and Rivers Run senior living community. Approximately 40 seniors came to learn how to navigate Facebook and get those pictures they have been asking for. Best Buy raffled off a $300.00 wireless printer, and Rivers Run hosted the event in their beautiful community. Everyone who attended the event learned something new and had a wonderful time.
Debra organized a “Facebook for Seniors” class. The class was free for clients and their caregivers and held at Rivers Run Independent Living Facility.
Home Helpers concierge program at Baywinde.
Exercising one’s right to vote is a privilege. Many of our area senior adults are unable to get themselves to the polls because of transportation issues. On Nov. 6, 2012 Home Helpers provided free rides to the polls for seniors in Monroe County.
The presidential election was especially important for seniors because of a number of issues that could affect them one way or the other. Extensions of medicare low-income protections helps disadvantaged seniors pay their Medicare Part B premiums. Recent budget cuts have affected older adults with reductions in housing and energy assistance. The Long Term Care insurance, Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program has been suspended at present. And finally, Meals on Wheels and other food programs could be in jeopardy.
"There are some major issues in our community that could be affected by this year’s election." said Debra Kostiw, President of Home Helpers. "It’s critical that seniors get to the polls in order to cast the votes that could ultimately result in better services and programs for them," Kostiw continued. "We [Home Helpers] are committed to our senior population and want to assist them with getting their voices heard," said Kostiw. "My dad, who passed away in 1979, always stressed the importance of voting and it stuck with me over the years. I guess by offering rides to the polls for seniors, at no cost, is my way of honoring his memory," Kostiw said.