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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

The Gift of Time; Remembering the Elderly

Dec 02, 2019 01:53PM

While running around buying gifts for those we love, we often lose the meaning of what this time of year is supposed to be—sharing with those we love, paying it forward to those we don’t know, showing kindness and volunteering for those less fortunate. When it comes to outreach, many agencies focus on helping children have a better holiday season, but the elderly population seems to be forgotten during this time. 

Our world has changed. Communication by cell phones, computers and social media has taken away the human connection, leaving many seniors that live alone with no family around, hurting and lonely. Do you have elderly neighbors living alone? Bring a pot of soup or some cookies and visit them. Perhaps a tired caregiver could use a break. Offer to stay or pick up groceries for them. Reach out to those in need and offer the gift of time.

Another option is to donate or volunteer to an organization such as PACE of Rhode Island, which exists to help aging participants and their families face many challenges in maintaining their independence while coordinating care for the participant. They are elder care experts that specialize in aging in place, keeping participants out of nursing homes for four years on average. They aim to move away from institution-based, long-term care toward a community-based model that provides affordable, comprehensive and integrated health care and social services. PACE’s interdisciplinary team takes care of participants’ medical, social and physical needs while also providing peace of mind for family caregivers.

PACE depends on support from individuals and corporations to help them continue to provide services to seniors. Donations can be made in honor of a loved one, or a memorial or general gift can be given. The PACE program also benefits from caring individuals that want to volunteer their personal time supporting the program and its participants. Share a talent such as scrapbooking, woodworking or poetry, or simply spend an afternoon keeping a senior company.

The gift of time means so much to so many, and it has no price tag. Take time to make a difference in someone’s life; it will not only change their life for the better, but also your own. 
              
To donate or volunteer to PACE RI, call 401-490-6566 or visit PACE-RI.org/ways-to-give. See ad on page 13.

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