Welcome to the Daily Dose!
Today’s word of hope comes from our own Nikki Byers, Interim Minister for Missions.
The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem is an interfaith ministry that promotes and supports successful aging by providing direct services and volunteer opportunities for older adults. This organization fills a critical need for seniors in our community through its two core programs, Vital Living and Faith in Action.
The Vital Living program focuses on senior adults 50 years and older. These are senior adults that are active and are looking for ways to stay connected and to nurture their health. Activities include book clubs and discussion, writers group, bridge, seminars on Medicare and Social Security, adult coloring, arts and crafts and Tai Chi. Some of these programs are located off-site, for example, there are warm water exercises at Arbor Acres and Homestead Hills. Due to the COVID crisis, the groups are not gathering in person, so the staff is working hard to keep their seniors connected through ZOOM, emails, and notes. The staff are making creative connections to over 400 individuals. Volunteers are also maintaining a connection with the seniors through “Card Connections,” an effort that has ten volunteers writing notes to ten individuals every two weeks.
The Faith in Action program focuses on senior adults 60 years and older. Volunteers build trusting relationships with individuals and help assist with some vital needs that include the following:
Transportation for medically-related appointments and grocery shopping
Minor home repairs, including grab bar installation
Friendly visits for socialization and companionship
Respite breaks for caregivers
During this time of the pandemic, The Shepherd’s Center can no longer use volunteers for transportation and home repairs and is therefore having to hire outside professionals to assist with these services. For example, the agency is now paying for over 60 trips for medical visits each week which include such critical services as dialysis and cancer treatments. Simple home repairs that were done by volunteers now have to be paid for. For example, when the garage door of an amputee stopped working, the agency had to hire someone to fix the garage door, as this was the only entrance he could use since he was confined to a wheelchair.
Linda Lewis, our dear church member, will lead a webinar addressing ways adult children can extend care to their aging parents and other relatives during this time of pandemic. She will address a range of suggestions and share resources for supporting parents and loved ones living at a distance due to COVID-19, whether they reside independently in their own home or in a community or facility for senior adults. This webinar will be held June 11 at 7:00 pm.
The Shepherd’s Center is one of our First Baptist Church partners and we contribute specifically to the Faith in Action program. This agency is finding creative ways to keep the connections to this vulnerable population during this time of the pandemic.