Advertisement

Piece of Mind: The help of a Friendly Visitor

September 12, 2012|By Carol Cormaci

Seemingly with each passing day there are more creases around my eyes and, well, elsewhere on my once smooth skin. As though the mirror doesn't do enough to put the lie to my preferred state of denial, there are the unintentional (I think) zingers that fly through the air — like the one I heard the other day from a young colleague. This sweet child suggested I might give an iTunes card that I won fair and square (beating her and the other young'uns handily at an internal contest) to my granddaughter.

Huh? Doesn't my daughter have to have a child in order for me to achieve that status? And, besides that, a more pressing question comes to mind: Does this mean the time and money spent having my hair colored isn't fooling anyone?

I'm not losing sleep over aging. That wouldn't help my appearance at all, right? But, as a bit of an introvert, I do wonder if I'll one day find myself alone, perhaps infirm and without a support system.

Advertisement

Our little city is blessed with many activities that can keep our senior citizens engaged, if they are so inclined. I imagine, though, that a percentage of our elders are not so likely to join in activities, for one reason or another — and particularly if they no longer drive. So I was pleased to learn this week that a free program soon will be offered through the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA to help these residents.

Called the “Friendly Visitor” program, it seeks to match volunteers with seniors in need of the kind of help a friend might offer. According to Nancy Turney, the senior specialist at our Y, this program has been successfully introduced at other YMCAs throughout the nation. I asked her how it was decided to provide it here.

“We have lots of seniors who face loneliness and isolation,” Turney said. “This leads to a downward spiral and eventually can lead to having them placed in convalescent homes because no one is keeping tabs on them.”

She gave me an example of how one Pasadena man was recently helped by a volunteer Friendly Visitor. This man no longer drove, his health was declining, and he found it too difficult to arrange for transportation, so he had stopped trying to set medical appointments. A program volunteer changed that situation, Turney said.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles
|
|
|