(Chelsea Update would like to thank Gretchen Zale for providing the information in this story.)
Staying healthy takes more than medicine. Staying connected with others and staying physically and mentally active contributes to health as well.
Silver Solutions Network (SsN), founded by Chelsea residents five years ago, focuses on individuals who are interested in volunteering to share their knowledge and skills with organizations in need of staff assistance or part-time employees.
SsN works with individuals, groups and cultural and inter-generational organizations in this community. The purpose of SsN is to “Make the connections, primarily for seniors, to find the positions they will enjoy while contributing their life-long talents and experience to this community – a great place to live and work.”
Volunteering has been endorsed by the medical research news organization “Science Daily.”
“Volunteering is associated with some health improvements such as a reduction in symptoms of depression, better overall health, and fewer functional limitations,” according to the publication. “This suggests that older adults who stay active by volunteering are “receiving a health boost.”
Among the organizations that collaborate with Silver Solutions Network is the Chelsea Senior Center. This expands the breadth of both organizations by providing more opportunities for seniors to interact—both inside and outside the center—and expand opportunities for those seeking to ‘pay it forward’ as volunteers to the community as a whole, perhaps giving their health a “boost” in the process.
Recent Silver Solutions Network Projects and Activities
- School Activities
- Chelsea North Creek Elementary School Reading program
- North Creek and South Meadows: Wednesday Walk to School program
- Creating a Cultural Connection in 2019 between Chelsea School Districts’ Chelsea House Orchestra (CHO) and the UM Joint Institute with Shanghai Jiao Tong University prior to CHO’s tour of nine Chinese cities.
Five Healthy Towns Foundation
- Assisting in putting on a conference for faith leaders from 5 Healthy Towns
- Helping to create a newsletter as well as ongoing work with faith leaders in 5 Healthy Towns to promote positive health practices – and helping individuals connect to address isolation and other causes of poor mental health.
- Initiating the program of safe routes to school with school escorts for Chelsea Walk to School Wednesdays.
- Circles Washtenaw County (Friends in Deed)
- Non-profit program provides a few individuals opportunities to contribute their professional expertise and life experience by being a mentor to a high school or beginning college student.
The University of Colorado’s Anschutz Multidisciplinary Center on Aging collaborates with the CU Anschutz School of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and School of Dental Medicine to offer a program opportunity for health profession students and older adults.
The program, COAST-IT (Connecting Older Adults and Students through inter-Professional Telecare) pairs students and older adults to become phone partners. This program promotes a dialogue between older adults and students to improve their communication skills and learn how to work with their future patient population which will include a large percentage of older adult patients.
These represent some of the projects, programs, and connections SsN has established in the area. Let us know the skills you are interested in sharing – and make a difference.