CH Senior Center News
In 2017, the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) introduced Communities Assisting Residential Elders (CARE)—a membership program for adults, 60 and older, intended to assist with tasks in and around their homes.
This innovative concept was formed through the collaborative efforts of the Community Partnership on Aging, and senior service agencies for the cities of Cleveland Heights, Maple Heights and Solon. As with any start up, there was much work to be done—recruiting volunteers, registering members, and creating program recognition in the communities served.
Today, CARE continues to grow, and has evolved into a popular and successful program that, when they learn about it, most seniors and their families want to join.
For the older adult, CARE helps with tasks that may seem overwhelming, impacting their safety and overall well-being. Like most homeowners, older adults want to maintain their yards and home exteriors; CARE supports them in meeting this goal. Others might request assistance with interior projects, such as replacing light bulbs and smoke-detector batteries. Some CARE members are happy to have the volunteers complete the task, and enjoy the results, while other CARE members participate right alongside the volunteers, enjoying the socializing and activity.
CARE’s diverse and dedicated volunteers include individuals, couples, faith-based groups, co-workers, students, seniors, families and friends, offering a variety of skills. Some volunteer for one-day yard projects, while others have been with CARE since the beginning, and volunteer year-round.
One volunteer provides technical assistance when a members have challenges with their cell phones, computers and other devices. A volunteer couple enjoys working together on interior projects, such as organization and window care. Another regularly leads local groups and organizations in tackling yard-care projects.
Thanks to support from the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior Adult Services, the Cleveland Foundation, PNC, the Care Source Foundation, the Legacy Village Fund, local Rotary and AARP chapters, local businesses and private donations, CARE has been able to keep the annual membership fee at $200. For those who are income-eligible, CARE pays the membership fee.
In January, CARE launched a new website, www.careneo.org. There, seniors and others can find information on membership and volunteering. Those seeking to support elder neighbors are encouraged to contact CARE online or at (216) 970-0599.
Amy Jenkins is supervisor at the Cleveland Heights Office on Aging and the Senior Activity Center. She can be reached at 216-691-7379 or by e-mail at email@example.com.