It’s the New Year! And here at Catholic Community Service, that means new opportunities to help those in need– a fresh 365 days to work on making Southeast Alaska a better place for all. That said, I’d like to take a moment to highlight how CCS helps seniors across Southeast through our 11 Senior Centers.
The centers are operated in the care of Southeast Senior Services, a division of Catholic Community Service that includes a dozen different programs for seniors, including nutrition, transportation, and health promotion services for local senior citizens.
The value of hot, nutritious meals – Many seniors do not cook for themselves, and those that do may lack the resources to purchase and prepare meals that meet nutritional guidelines. Good nutrition has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, which are the top to causes of death among older Alaskans. Good nutrition is also critical in the recovery from illness and injury and has been proven to maintain health and independence in the elderly. Each of the meals prepared in our Senior Center kitchens and includes one-third of the recommended daily allowance, complete with three ounces of protein, two one-half cups of fruit or vegetables, a bread source (such as rice, potatoes, or noodles), and milk.
The value of coming to the senior center – congregate meals are offered at the centers. Since many seniors suffer from isolation and lack of activity, our objective is to create an engaging social atmosphere. We also strive to introduce activities that are fun, empowering, and educational. For instance, in several communities, we offer exercise classes. Seniors also enjoy arts and crafts tutorials, live music, and health fairs.
The value of local transportation – many seniors do not have personal transportation to help them get around town to the grocery store, our senior center, medical appointments, friends, family and church. This huge challenge to health, nutrition, safety, and quality of life is addressed through our local senior transportation services. Rides are scheduled a day in advance are door to door, with our drivers providing assistance to seniors to make sure they are safe as they get to and from destinations.
What about seniors who can’t participate in nutrition and transportation programs? – many seniors are homebound due to illness, injury or disability. For those seniors, we provide “Meals on Wheels,” with the same hot meal served at the center delivered to the senior at home so that no senior needs to miss out on good nutrition. Often our delivery staff or volunteer is the only person a homebound senior may see all week. This caring human contact is very meaningful for some isolated seniors. When we deliver meals, we also take the time to assesses the senior for safety. If they seem to have safety or other unmet needs, we follow up to do an assessment and connect them with help. When a senior does not answer the door, we get in touch with the senior’s emergency contact and ensure the senior receives a welfare check. Through this simple act of delivering a meal, taking a moment to show care and compassion, we have saved lives.
Do you know a senior that would benefit from nutritious meals, fun activities, and good company? Contact your local Senior Center to help us connect!
ANGOON SENIOR CENTER
Located at 812 Xootz Road
CRAIG & KLAWOCK SENIOR CENTER
Located at 465 Summit Street #201
HAINES & KLUKWAN SENIOR CENTER
Located at 33 Mission Street
HOONAH SENIOR CENTER
Located at 310 Douglas Drive
JUNEAU SENIOR CENTER
Located at 895 West 12th Street
KAKE SENIOR CENTER
Located at 251 Totem Way
SAXMAN-KETCHIKAN SENIOR CENTER
Located at 2401 Eagle Avenue #2
SITKA SWAN LAKE SENIOR CENTER
Located at 402 Lake Street
SKAGWAY SENIOR CENTER
Located at 475 Main Street
WRANGELL SENIOR CENTER
Located at 105 Church Street
YAKUTAT SENIOR CENTER
Located at 707 Ocean Cape Drive
Whether the senior you know is a family member or a neighbor, or just someone you’ve noticed around town, please help us connect with them through our Senior Outreach program. Your referral could save a life or make a life better. When a senior is referred to us for services, we reach out to them to assess their hopes and needs.
We look forward to providing them with good health and independence in the home community where they wish to remain as they age.
And as our diocese’s Catholic charity, all our help is provided to any senior and regardless of ability to pay. All services provided through our Senior Centers are free.
Thank you for helping us help those in need!
And have a wonderful 2020.
Erin Walker-Tolles, Executive Director
Catholic Community Service, Inc.