Eastside Neighbors Volunteer Program helps seniors remain in their homes
Pima Council On Aging has a button they give out that has an interesting slogan. It says, “If aging is not your issue, it will be.” Aging has become a major issue for millions of Americans. People over 100 years old are now one of the fastest growing segments of the population. As aging takes its toll, the elderly can no longer drive, do their own yard work, their own housekeeping, and many other everyday chores. Yet, they desperately want to stay out of a nursing home or other institutions.
To help make this desire happen, Eastside Neighbors Volunteer Program (ENVP) is now in its tenth year. It was created as a 501(C)(3) non-profit Arizona corporation to provide a variety of free services to our senior neighbors that assists them in staying in their own home or apartment for a few years longer. A high percentage of them are able to finish their lives there.
ENVP began with 14 senior clients and seven volunteers. ENVP has over 350 senior clients that are being served by a volunteer group totaling over 100 generous people. A recent survey revealed that 90% of these clients reported that Eastside Neighbors helped them remain in their homes with a greater sense of safety. The biggest demand for ENVP services is for transportation to and from doctor’s or dentist’s office and for trips to the pharmacy or grocery store. Many of our older neighbors left their family and friends behind when they moved to this area. Friendly visits and friendly telephone calls go a long way in keeping them connected with others.
During 2011, seniors received over 4000 services. ENVP volunteers gave over 5200 hours of service and drove over 40,000 miles for transportation and errands. An additional 5,500 miles were contributed for other services and administration.
ENVP is constantly searching for those who need and want assistance that can enable them to remain in their homes. Additional volunteers who have time and love to share are always welcome. If you know of any seniors that might like our support, please ask them to call our office at (520) 245-4729. Our phones are staffed by friendly volunteers from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays. We are here to serve.
ENVP is also looking for new volunteers. Please give us a call if you have time to give.