As the caregiver for my 94-year old father, it didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t have all the answers. I did manage to stay one step ahead of his needs by purchasing a walker well in advance and stowing it away in the hall closet. Yet, there have been issues that haven’t had such obvious answers. On May 22, the FAVOR (Friends Advocating for Vassalboro’s Older Residents) committee hosted a Senior Fair at the St. Bridget’s Center, 864 Main Street, Vassalboro, bringing area agencies together to provide information to seniors and their families.
Spectrum Generations provides services for elders and adults with disabilities to stay in their homes. Bridges homes services, a division of Spectrum Generations, offers adult day services and outings into the community. The family caregiver support program at Spectrum Generations offers educational opportunities. Spectrum Generations makes it clear that’s it ok for caregivers to ask for help by providing a helpline, 1-800-639-8703. More information can be found at spectrumgenerations.org.
Maine-ly Elder Care provides senior care on a fee basis including in-home care, home modification and seasonal property clean up. More information is available on Maine-lyeldercare.com .
Direct Community Care partners with the Veterans Administration providing case management and in-home support services. Their mission is to increase independence and integration into the community. Direct Community Care can be reached at 207-512-2424.
SEARCH is a free support service sponsored by Catholic Charities. Lynn Kidd, from SEARCH, explained that she carefully matches trained volunteers with the needs of seniors, from all faiths. The success of their program comes from the supportive relationship that grows between volunteers and the seniors. Their goal is to enable vulnerable seniors to remain in their homes with services that range from an hour of conversation to weekly running errands. More information can be found at ccmain.org/SEARCH .
Vassalboro Food Station Pantry provides food for 101 local seniors who are faced with the harsh reality of rising costs of medications and utility costs. The pantry is located at 679 Main Street in Vassalboro, open Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon.
Vassalboro’s Senior Fair also included organizations who feed the minds and artistic souls of seniors and their families. Common Street Arts of Waterville held a painting workshop providing a sampling of the many classes they offer the public of all ages. A calendar of events for Common Street Arts can be found at Watervillecreates.org .
Vassalboro Historical Society provided a display of what their organization offered and a listing of their bi-monthly programs. The Schoolhouse Museum, 327 Main Street, will be open with regular hours from June through Oct., 2nd and 4th Sundays, 1-4 pm.
The Senior College offered by the University Maine at Augusta was represented at the Senior Fair. Fair attendee, Priscilla Doel said these courses are “the best kept secret” and spoke highly of the art she has taken through this program. For more information, check out UMASC.org.
As a caregiver, I left the Vassalboro Senior Fair with a folder full of much-needed information to help me care for my father, but more surprisingly I found plenty of inspiration for myself, as a recently turned senior who wishes to stay active.
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