Dear Friends of Interfaith Caregivers,
We would like to introduce you to Harold. You may know him. Or you may know someone very much like him. An 85-year-old widower, Harold is a long-time client of Interfaith Caregivers of Ozaukee County. He lives alone. His grown children offer support when they can, but they live in other states and are not often available to assist with his daily needs.
ALWAYS VERY INDEPENDENT
When Harold first approached Interfaith for help, he asked for a volunteer to visit him for just one hour once a week. He explained that he had always been very independent, but that he was recovering from a broken hip he had suffered in a fall. He needed a volunteer in the home while he was bathing, just in case he needed assistance. Having a volunteer visit gave Harold and his family peace of mind, knowing that he could complete his daily activities on his own with safety measures in place.
In time, Harold’s health improved and he no longer needed weekly visits. Then it came time to renew his driver’s license, and he was required to take a driving test at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Harold called Interfaith Caregivers to request a volunteer who could accompany him and be available to drive him home if he did not pass the test. Harold did not pass his driver’s test that day, and he came to realize that he needed additional help. His eyesight was deteriorating, and since he was no longer able to drive, he needed Interfaith volunteers to get him to medical appointments and to the grocery store.
REMAINING IN HIS OWN HOME
Interfaith saw to it that Harold got the help he needed to remain independent in his home, and in time he and his volunteers became friends. In addition to transportation, the volunteers provided social visits, help with paperwork and bill paying, and even reassuring phone calls. As time went by, it became more difficult for Harold to rake leaves and shovel snow. Several Interfaith volunteers took turns doing these chores for him. Harold simply called Light Up a Life Interfaith Caregivers of Ozaukee County Celebrating 21 Years of Caring Interfaith’s program coordinators when he needed a little help, and they arranged for carefully trained and screened volunteers to come to his aid.
Harold has a strong and supportive family, but as is the case for so many other seniors today, his family members do not live in Wisconsin.
Harold could be your father, your neighbor, the person you used to see at your congregation every week – the one who no longer attends.
Harold’s story is just one example of how Interfaith volunteers light up a life when they provide services for a client. Our volunteers provide free support services to seniors and adults with disabilities, allowing many people in our community to remain independent in their own homes. Our volunteers take clients grocery shopping and to their medical appointments, they make friendly visits and reassuring phone calls, and they provide respite care for caregivers. In addition, volunteers help with paperwork, bills, light house work and yard work.
Interfaith has experienced a sharp increase in requests for help in recent years, and demand for services will rise further as members of the baby boom generation enter their senior years. At Interfaith, we want to make sure we are ready to meet the growing needs of our community, but to do that, we will need your help.
WILL YOU HELP LIGHT UP A LIFE?
Please consider making a donation to our annual Light Up a Life campaign. Simply complete the donation envelope and drop it in the mail, or go to our website and donate. Your tax-deductible contribution will enrich the lives of people in our community who just need a little help.
More information about Interfaith Caregivers, including how to support the organization’s
mission, how to volunteer, and how to leave a legacy, is available at www.interfaithozaukee.org.
We wish you and your family many blessings this holiday season.
Maureen M. Squire
President, Board of Directors