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Chelsea Senior Center receives ‘aging in place’ grant

Courtesy photo. Meals on Wheels volunteers.
Courtesy photo. Meals on Wheels volunteers.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Trinh Pifer, executive director of the Chelsea Area Senior Center for the information in this story.)

Several months ago, the Chelsea Senior Center, in partnership with Silver Maples and invested community members, launched a new program that would support this ability to remain living independently at home and connected to our community. It’s called the Chelsea Community Senior Services or C2S2 program.

Startup funds for C2S2 were awarded in July 2013 by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation as part of the 5-Healthy Towns Initiative.

In December, the Chelsea Community Foundation awarded the Chelsea Senior Center a matching grant of $24,500 to help sustain the C2S2 program. Both of these generous grants will make it possible for C2S2 to focus on delivering needed services for seniors.

The C2S2 network provides seniors access to needed services through volunteers, when possible, or through referrals to vetted and discounted service providers. Since October 2013, C2S2 has fulfilled over 120 requests for local seniors. The most frequent requests were:
1) providing connections for emotional and social support
2) information and referrals to resources,
3) transportation to medical appointments and the senior center
4) home maintenance including snow shoveling.

One example of the C2S2 program in action involves a local senior whose shoulder surgery limited her regular activities. She was temporarily unable to drive and everyday tasks became difficult. Volunteers from the Chelsea Senior Center provided her with rides to the center, took her out to lunch, visited her at home, called her to check in, and helped with smaller daily responsibilities that many of us take for granted.

“It was great to get out of the house,” she said.

Another Chelsea-area senior had no one locally who was able to drive him to and from a medical appointment at Chelsea Community Hospital around the holidays. A volunteer provided the rides he needed and his response was, “I appreciate it more than words can describe.”

The C2S2 program touches all demographics of our community. During the recent snow storms, volunteers from a local Boy Scout troop helped seniors with snow removal.

These intergenerational experiences are part of what makes C2S2 successful. The daughter of a senior was so relieved to know that visitors were arranged for her dad who was staying at the Chelsea Retirement Community for rehab, “My father was so happy to have support/visitors from the Senior Center. This made the family feel good as well.”

The Chelsea Senior Center provides a diverse array of programs that promote active aging with dignity and purpose. With the C2S2 program and Meals on Wheels, the senior center is able to encourage intergenerational opportunities, matching volunteers of all ages with seniors in need.

For more information about the C2S2 program, please call the Chelsea Senior Center at 475-9242 or email [email protected].

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