A woman is able to stay in her own home with help of neighbors and a local nonprofit
 
UW Deschutes.pngDorothy recently celebrated her 90th birthday in the comforting familiarity of her own home.  She has lived all of her life in Central Oregon and greatly values her independence. Aging has required some getting used to of course; she’s had to give up driving and can’t get around without the use of a walker. Her children and grandchildren live out-of-state, so Dorothy depends on the generosity of friends and neighbors and the caring volunteers and staff from Central Oregon Council on Aging (COCOA) to help.  
 
She relies on visits from a caring Meals-on-Wheels volunteer to bring her a meal, a little cheer, and the security of having someone check on her. When Dorothy’s volunteer comes to visit they sit together talking about how she is doing, sharing stories and talking about the “good old days”. After noticing that Dorothy could use a little extra help her volunteer worked with COCOA to arrange for a home care worker that helps with light housekeeping and personal care, but Dorothy prides herself on doing everything else.  Occasionally a friend will take Dorothy to the Senior Center to enjoy one of the congregate meals and a little socializing. Her favorite lunch outing includes “listening to the man playing old western songs on his guitar.” Once in a while you can even hear Dorothy as she sings along.
 
Dorothy is grateful for those who have helped her stay in her own home, but most of all she is grateful for the donors who help make these services available to hundreds of seniors in our community. “Knowing someone cares and they will be there to help if you need it, it just makes you feel better. It makes you feel safe.” She says. “Thank you.”
 
COCOA, a United Way of Deschutes County Funded Partner, provides nutrition programs, case management with individual assessment and periodic follow-up; resources for disabled seniors, including support for those suffering from – and those caring for seniors with -- dementia; coordination of in-home care; free legal assistance, health insurance and Medicaid advising; and a variety of information, education, outreach and referral services. If you or someone you know needs help to stay in their own home please call the Central Oregon Council on Aging at 541-678-5483 or dial 2-1-1.