The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for older adults, particularly for those living in isolation. While Family Pathways Aging Services has had to adjust, they are still aiming to serve the needs of older adults.
“Homemaking services have been suspended; however, we continue to reach out to the people we are serving to offer emotional support and ensure they have access to food and prescriptions,” said Lise Arseneau Lee, Family Pathways’ Aging Services manager.
To ensure older adults in the service area have access to healthy food, Family Pathways’ Aging Services and Hunger Relief programs have partnered together to create a doorstep delivery program which includes frozen meals from Catholic Charities.
Educational and in-person caregiver clubs have also been suspended, but Family Pathways has maintained caregiver consultation services throughout the pandemic. “We’ve been reaching out to caregivers, giving them the support and resources they need to manage and find balance that enables them to thrive not simply survive in this challenging time,” Arseneau Lee said.
Volunteers and clients have acutely felt the impact of social distancing as well. Many of these relationships have grown to become meaningful friendships, and the loss of social connectedness is difficult to bear.
Peggy Carpenter has been a volunteer for four years, providing assistance with household tasks and social companionship to clients like Barbara.
“The most rewarding thing for me is that I was able to build a friendship out of volunteering,” Carpenter said. “I treasure the moments that I get to spend with Barbara because I know it brings her happiness.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carpenter assisted Barbara with cleaning, grocery shopping, a movie outing or help with paperwork. More than that, “Peggy has become such a good friend and is very kind, caring and loving,” Barbara said.
While volunteers like Carpenter aren’t able to provide in-person care for individuals like Barbara, Family Pathways Aging Services has continued to serve older adults and their caregivers.
For more information regarding Family Pathways Aging Services, go to www.FamilyPathways.org/our-work or call 651.674.8040.