Seniors like 99-year-old Evert Marsh have been able to continue living at home with the help of their family and support from area organizations.
Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas Inc. delivers three meals a week to Marsh’s home.
“They’ve done a great job for me,” he said. “The volunteers have been beautiful.”
The nonprofit organization, which has an office at 2701 S.W. East Circle Drive South, serves about 1,000 meals a day, which includes home deliveries and congregate sites. In addition to delivering a hot meal, volunteers make sure seniors are doing OK at home.
“Just as important as the meals is the safety check,” said Meals on Wheels president and CEO Heidi Pickerell.
For help at home in the Topeka area, Grace Home Care offers a range of services, including housekeeping and personal care assistance.
Executive director Kate Clemmons said the locally managed company at 1835 N.W. Topeka Blvd., Suite 205, has 50 clients and 60 caregivers, and continues to grow. The company’s philosophy is to honor its clients’ decisions when it comes to where they want to age and help them live life on their terms.
The Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, 2910 S.W. Topeka Blvd., directly served more than 7,800 people in Shawnee, Douglas and Jefferson counties during the past fiscal year. The organization, which provides case management and caregiver support, contracts out legal, nutritional and transportation services.
JAAA also helps connect seniors with attendant care and home health aides to help with activities like dressing, bathing and housekeeping.
Its information department is a comprehensive resource.
“You name it, you need it — we have a service for it,” executive director Susan Harris said.
An individual’s quality of life is better when the person is living where he or she wants, she noted. Living at home is also more cost-effective. The average cost of in-home care is $22 an hour.
The North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging serves 18 north-central Kansas counties, an area with about 57,000 people age 60 or older. The agency, with its central office at 401 Houston St. in Manhattan, offers several services, including Medicare counseling and a monthly caregiver support group that is conducted by phone so anyone in Kansas can participate.
Executive director Julie Govert Walter said the agency assists with maximizing resources and making decisions related to long-term planning, which can be particularly helpful for relatives after a crisis hits.
Area aging agencies provide objective and practical information, Walter said.
Back in eastern Kansas, Visiting Nurses, 200 Maine St., Suite C, in Lawrence, facilitates a wide range of services in Douglas County.
The organization began serving people who were homebound nearly 50 years ago and since then has dramatically expanded its expertise, said CEO Cynthia Lewis. In addition to hospice care, its staff specializes in everything from respiratory care to wound care to social work. They’re also able to monitor patients’ vital signs remotely.
Senior Wheels in Lawrence provides 50 to 60 rides a day to seniors age 60 and older in Douglas County. Coordinator Terri Clark says the Senior Resource Center program is constantly growing. Not only does the transportation service help seniors stay in their home, but its drivers also keep an eye on how riders are doing.
“It’s a personal service. They’ll alert a family member if something’s not quite right,” Clark said. “Our drivers are very professional.”
Contact reporter Katie Moore at (785) 295-5612 or on Twitter @katie_reports.