Community Connections: Routt County Council on Aging helps keep seniors independent
Given a choice, older adults often prefer to stay in their community — and in most cases, in their own homes — for as long as possible.
The Routt County Council On Aging, or RCCOA, helps make that choice possible. Our mission is to determine the needs of the senior citizens in Routt County and to make every effort to meet those needs with appropriate action.
One of the RCCOA volunteer meal delivery drivers was out sick last week, so I got the chance to fill in and deliver Meals on Wheels. I often talk to these clients on the phone, but don’t regularly get to see them, so I was excited about the opportunity to reconnect with some of our clients.
As I drove around Old Town delivering hot lunches to older adults on another snowy day, I was struck by how grateful and eager these clients were to receive their lunch. All of the clients on this route live alone and are unlikely to get out because of some challenge or another. I was probably the only person they would see that day.
When I delivered the last lunch of the day, I rang the doorbell and waited a few seconds. I rang the bell again wondering if the 90-year-old woman inside had heard it the first time.
When she answered the door, she proclaimed, “Hi! You’re here! Thank you so much for lunch and for being here. I take my showers on the days you guys come. I’m afraid of falling in the shower, but I know if someone is coming with my lunch, then I would be able to call out to someone if I fell.”
This statement stayed with me all day. I kept circling back to the importance of the RCCOA mission, and the importance of the services we provide — keeping people independent and in their homes for as long as possible.
Nutrition, transportation and socialization have been the core services of RCCOA for over 40 years. Over the last few years, we have identified another need of our local older adults, and last year we were very excited to offer another service, non-medical home care.
RCCOA launched the Helping Hands Home Care service in 2022 and we have been helping people with basic needs in and about their homes, shopping, laundry, meal prep, tidying up and other such chore services.
Please reach out to us if you or someone you know is over 60 years old and needs extra help, a meal, or a ride by calling 970-879-0633. See our monthly newsletter for other activities and information at RCCOAging.org.
April Sigman is the executive director for the Routt County Council on Aging.
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