Snow flurries swirl around the bird feeder outside my dining room window. Chickadees and blue jays challenge each other for who gets to eat first. It’s a pleasure to provide birdseed throughout the winter and to watch this ongoing contest from the warmth of my house. It’s also a pleasure to know that at Senior Solutions, we provide assistance to a great many older Vermonters with heating their homes, receiving regular nutritious meals and feeding their pets.
Through our collaboration with many community partners and outreach, we continually assist older Vermonters with applications for LIHEAP, the federal fuel assistance program, 3SquaresVT and Meals on Wheels. Our National Council on Aging (NCOA) and 3SquaresVT Outreach Specialists are busy across southeastern Vermont, establishing new sites such as the old Wilmington firehouse, for Vermonters in need to stop by and learn about benefits they may be eligible for. Our Outreach Coordinator is getting the word out on her weekly radio show (Wool Radio 91.5) and at community events throughout the area. Our HelpLine frequently fields calls requesting assistance with meeting such needs, and our case managers continually check with their clients to ensure they receive the needed supports to remain in their homes.
A couple years ago, I was awakened at around 4 am on New Year’s Day by a call from Senior Solutions’ answering service. It was a frigid night and the caller was out of fuel. Having just crawled out of my warm bed, knowing this client was shivering in a chilly house tugged at my heartstrings. A call to the local constable put in motion a welfare check which was followed by calls to a local fuel provider and later, follow up by Senior Solutions’ staff. This is the kind of community collaboration that helps keep our older Vermonters warm in their homes and in their hearts.
I wish you all a warm, nutritious, and joyful holiday season. Please give us a call if you know of a friend or neighbor who is in need this winter.