By Pamela Joyal
Executive Director – ICCI
This past week I was walking my dog in our neighborhood, and I noticed many cars at an elderly
neighbors’ home. I had been noticing cars there for the past week or so. I saw the husband out on his porch and finally went up to him and asked if everything was ok? He replied quietly, “Well no, I lost
Helen yesterday.” I was a bit shocked, as I was not aware his wife had been sick. He stated she had been battling a brain tumor for the past few months. Although, family and grown children were milling about, I felt immediately saddened for him. It was like all the wind had come out of his sails and he was on autopilot. I expressed my sympathies and offered help, should he need anything, which seemed so little at that moment. As I walked away, I thought about the great challenges this elderly man will face in the weeks and months to come.
We all look forward to retirement in hopes that we can finally enjoy life on our own terms. Although the golden years can offer much happiness and joy, there are always concerns. Our senior citizens face physical and mental challenges that are commonly brushed off, which affect their daily lives. These include:
Disease and Physical Aging – Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. These health issues compromise a person’s everyday life and functioning capabilities.
Health Care Costs and Financial Security – The more we age, the more health care becomes crucial to their everyday lives. Medical costs continue to rise and threaten seniors’ retirement income. In addition, seniors often have to greatly depend on family or children to assist them, leaving many to feel like they are a burden and liability on others.
Loneliness and Fear- Aging brings with it a sense of vulnerability as seniors watch their close friends get sick and even pass away. Loneliness becomes their companion as they feel like they can’t take part in activities like they are used to. The fear of being preyed upon by ruthless predators is a real concern for the elderly, as they attempt to manage in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.
Transportation – As we age and our sight becomes dimmer, our reflexes slower and our ability to drive is compromised. Losing driving privileges for their own safety as well as others can be devastating to our seniors.
The Interlakes Community Caregivers have embodied the mission of helping seniors to remain independent, safe, comfortable and with dignity in their own homes for as long as possible. Our mission has never changed over the twenty-three years of operation. We are extremely grateful to our volunteers, donors, Board of Directors, community partners and the townships of Meredith, Moultonborough, Center Harbor and Sandwich for the ability to forge our mission over the years. But we must not let down our guard. Our Fall Appeal is slated to be sent out in November. Please consider donating and joining others in keeping our neighbors and community as healthy and prosperous as possible to enjoy this beautiful area we call home. For more information go to: interlakescares.com or call 603-253-9275.