For Sarah Frey, the new social worker at Wallingford Community Senior Center, a busy day is a normal day. Area seniors call or meet with her for a range of needs so varied, it’s hard to believe they fit into one job description. Perhaps someone is starting to lose mobility or has questions about housing options. Maybe they need resources to help make ends meet, are feeling depressed, or are having memory lapses. Or perhaps someone who is caring for an aging parent needs support or respite. Frey provides information or a listening ear—in only eleven hours per week.
Working together with WCSC’s part-time outreach social worker, Lara Okoloko, Frey is excited to create plans to combat senior isolation, develop new programs, and extend the Center’s reach to neighborhoods beyond Wallingford. WCSC also serves as a learning site for a University of Washington master’s of social work student intern every year, which allows the Center to further expand its social service programs and implement new projects. So far, Frey says her favorite part of working at WCSC is “meeting new and returning people every day … from the volunteers, to the staff, to the seniors—everyone’s so happy to be here.” Continue reading
For organizations serving seniors, overcoming the belief that aging is a period of decline requires a different philosophy as well as programs and services that allow seniors to overcome the challenges of aging and have meaningful and engaging opportunities.
Eden Alternative is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to creating quality of life for seniors and their caregivers. The organization wants to combat what it calls the three plagues of aging that they say are at the core of suffering for seniors: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
“We don’t call it a program; we call it a philosophy,” said Denise Hyde, a spokesperson for Eden Alternative. “We don’t do things that help sustain seniors; we do things to help them to grow and be stronger.” Continue reading
Check out photos from the Wallingford Family Parade and Festival held on July 5th! Costumes, music, dance moves, and smiles abound! Thanks to Dan Druliner, Laura Goularte, and Ron Waldman for their photography work.
What does it mean to have a inter-generational, community space for older adults and seniors? The programs and activities often have a deeper meaning than simply something to do. Check out Jane’s story and find out what it means to her.