By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Home Instead Senior Care not only provides needed care to seniors and others, but is saluting seniors who volunteer and give back to their communities.
The Northborough Home Instead office will honor an outstanding senior volunteer in its Northborough and Natick service area as part of the national Home Instead Salute to Senior Service program.
Nominations of seniors 65 and older who volunteer at least 15 hours a month can be made online at www.SalutetoSeniorService.com by Saturday, March 1. State winners will be selected from those volunteers, and a national winner will be chosen from the state winners.
Laurie Bender, owner of the Northborough franchise, said this year, for the first time, her office has decided to honor a local volunteer as well, with dinner for two at Ceres Bistro in the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester and Hanover Theatre tickets.
“We want to recognize the fact that seniors are crucial to their communities and acknowledge the role that they play,” she said. “It is especially important for seniors to find an activity they feel passionate about so they remain vital and active.”
Home Instead has asked area community organizations and businesses to nominate senior volunteers, and individuals can do so as well. Those nominated will be entered in the regional and national program in addition to being considered for the local award.
Bender knows firsthand the abilities and importance of active seniors, since she hires many of them.
“We actively recruit active seniors. They are some of our best employees, particularly in the companion role,” she said. “One of my best caregivers has been with me for many years, and she's 82.
“Our caregiver of the year had retired from a corporate position and moved to Florida, but she missed her family and missed working. She was impressed by the passionate people she met in rehab after some surgery and came to work for us. She's been working with a client for two years now and has gotten her up, moving and reenergized.”
Home Instead offers two levels of care – companion/homemakers who help with housekeeping and errands and personal care service providers who assist with bathing, bathroom use, grooming and eating. The agency provides long-term and short-term caregivers for people who need assistance in their homes – the elderly, the chronically ill, and those recovering from accidents, surgery or illnesses. It has caregivers who have been especially trained to work with clients suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Some older caregivers, Bender said, do take the required training to be able to provide personal care assistance, but they need clearance from their physician and are trained how to perform the physical caregiving tasks safely.
“Too many of our seniors have become sedentary and fearful. We offer an open door to people whose door has been shut. Often our clients are able to have lunch with friends or visit family again,” Bender said.
“Sometimes an adult daughter who works just wants someone to come in and check on a parent at midday or to help with a shower. Sometimes we can be a set of eyes and ears making sure a senior who lives alone is eating well, taking medications.”
The success stories of many of her clients and caregivers inspired her to honor a local volunteer, Bender said.
“We recognize seniors as being capable of everything,” she said. “Seniors should be contributors as our clients, as our employees, and as members of the community.”
The Northborough Home Instead is part of a franchise organization based in Omaha. More information is available at www.homeinstead.com, while detailed information on the Northborough office can be found at www.hearthside-homeinstead.com. The main office is located at 386 W. Main St.; the phone number is 508-393-8338. The agency is accredited by the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.
Editor's Note: The preceding is not an endorsement and is presented for informational purposes only.