Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Volunteering to Help Senior Citizens

Living in the moment. The fierce urgency of now. Time is a precious commodity to all of us and especially to homebound seniors. Many people are so concerned with adding days to their life that they can forget how to add life to their days
There are ways you can make a difference, adding life to your days and others through Programs offered by Fremont’s LIFE ElderCare Inc.

180 Minutes invested of your time offers VIP Rides which links volunteers for Seniors who need assistance traveling with Paratransit in the area. You can ride along on the trip and provide needed door to door assistance for medical appointments or other errands. This can also provide wonderful moments and a chance to make someone’s day. The average number of monthly trips is over 400. 80% were for medical appointments.

120 Minutes of your time a week and you can be part of the Friendly Visitor’s which matches isolated seniors with a volunteer who spends two hours a week enjoying each other’s company. Watching a movie, playing a card game or cheerful conversation can be just the thing someone looks forward to every week. There is a growing need for volunteers for this program. You can make a difference by adding companionship to someone’s life.

90 minutes of time in your day can ensure that the Meals on Wheels program in delivering hot , nutritious meals to homebound seniors will make someone’s day. You can serve as volunteer driver and see a friendly, welcoming face every day! The Program serves over 90,000 meals a year!

30 minutes of in-home exercise can improve a senior’s balance, stamina and mobility. If you are a frail, homebound senior or know of one whom could benefit from such a program, LIFE ElderCare’s Get up and Go Program which links Unitek College nursing students and seniors for weekly in-home exercises can benefit you. To date over 650 seniors have enrolled in the Program.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What a PR Person should do for an organization

Do a newsletter by email, two pages. Send out monthly.
Hard Copy Newsletter. 8-12 pages. 4X a year.
Work with development on fundraising PR, assist with tasks.
Work and publicize events, suggest ideas.
Speak at Community Events, set up other speakers and showcase programs.
Develop relationships with radio, newspapers, TV, Chamber, City etc.
Attract and keep volunteers in organization.
Take classes (Media Alliance) to enhance skills.
Highlight staff members to the Media, make them resources and be known.
Research relevant articles, do clippings, keep files of Press coverage.
Arrange interviews, spokespersons for media.
Do bios of staff, have them log into facebook and linkedin for networking resources.
Collect information and quotes, write news releases, media alerts, PSAs and blogs.
Create and assist with placement of flyers .Coordinate press conference or media events.

Get Up and Go

First there was Jane Fonda, big, then Richard Simmons, bigger, then Denise Austin still bigger. Now it is LIFE ElderCare’s exercise program Get Up and Go that has people talking about it and seeing results. What is unique about the program is that it is for frail, homebound seniors, 60 and over in the Fremont, Newark and Union City area.

Each year one in three Americans aged 65 and older falls and thirty percent of such falls cause injuries requiring medical treatment. Falls are harmful, falls are painful, but they can be prevented.” There are over 9,000 home-bound seniors in the Tri-City area that would benefit from our program,” Maureen Parent, Fall Prevention Coordinator sighs.” We are searching for them.”
So far the search has yielded good results. LIFE ElderCare’s Falls Prevention Program was started in 2004 and to date 653 have enrolled in the 12 week exercise program. Progress is measured using industry standard post assessment. One client who was totally bedridden for 2 1/2 years is now walking with a walker. Another who was unable to comb her hair is now able to do so due to upper body strengthening. “Success comes in so many ways.” Parent explained. “For some it's the strength to stop a fall. Others are now able to walk with a friend. To one woman, the ability to lift her little dog brought some joy into her days.” Many of the clients are equally enthusiastic. A daughter of one of the clients was so surprised her father was up and walking again she called to enroll her mother in law!

Fall Prevention’s Get Up and Go Program links nursing students from Unitek College and seniors for weekly in-home exercises to build strength and stamina while reducing the risks of falls. Using stretching and flex bands the exercises aim to increase energy, stamina and flexibility.

Jaswinder Singh a LVN, who is training to be a RN, has been with the program several years. “We are hope for the seniors, their voice. Because they are isolated we give them socializing, a friend and something to look forward to ‘Singh says. “They recognize us with a smile when we arrive.”

In home safety assessment and recommendations are conducted. Sometimes minor home modifications such as grab bars, and hand held showers are recommended. Medication management is also available to help avoid possible drug interaction, (which is a leading cause of falls for seniors.) “Ability and mobility are things we look for when working with a client “Singh says.

The program is offered at no cost to frail home-bound seniors age 60 and older in the Tri City area of Fremont, Newark and Union City. “We also work with non-English speaking seniors and those who are physically impaired.” Parent added.

London Town

As my plane circled over London I watched an awesome sight. There was a magnificent view of the Thames River, the Millennium Dome, Big Ben and the Royal Albert Hall. I realized I was about to visit one of the most fascinating and historical cities in the world. I was there last April and seeing the sites in person that one merely catches a glimpse of in movies and on television can be breathtaking.

Once on the ground we had to get accustomed to the traffic flowing on the left instead of the right. I noticed the cars and lorries (trucks) had right hand drive. There were so many things to see. The one attraction that daily draws over 5,000 spectators is the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Very efficient, very colorful, very military-plus it’s free to observe

Other notable landmarks are incredible. Piccadilly Circus is always jammed with traffic, Harrod’s is the English version of Nordstrom’s, the British Museum has relics from mummies to dinosaurs and Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament are impressively huge. The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are over 1000 years old. There is also a guided walk which takes one through the section of London where Jack the Ripper performed his murderous deeds in the late 19th century.

I particularly enjoyed the Beatles historic sites. There is the famous Abbey Road crosswalk leading into their recording studio as well as the building which was their home for Apple Records and the rooftop of their last concert. There are plenty of pubs and coffee shops around this fabulous city. Fish and Chips stalls can be found almost anywhere.

The one thing I noticed that was not in abundance was the storied London fog. I was disappointed, since after watching Sherlock Holmes and Hitchcock movies I was expecting a blanket of fog covering London at night, and there was none, darn! The one thing I remember most is the catch phrase, “Mind the gap.” We heard that barked every time we left their underground subway system which has a little gap between the train and the platform, so one doesn’t trip over it. So fog or no fog, Mind the gap


I believe every service organization should use a blog. Have your staff or volunteer post comments and have the links accessible on your website so they are within reach and can be easily read . It's good to have a place for aomeone to leave comments like was this helpful or I agree regarding them also.