December 2012 - The Safety Net
I am writing this as we work through the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. We are humbled in the face of such devastation. We are reminded to be grateful for the safety of those we care about and for the kindness of strangers. I am always inspired by the response of many older people: “oh this isn’t bad compared to…” We are reminded also of how thin the margin can be, how quickly we become vulnerable to the force of wind and water and the loss of electrical power. One thing that many of us experienced this week was how quickly loneliness and isolation descend as soon as it is quiet and dark and cold.
This sudden vulnerability is not unlike that experienced by some people when faced with a sudden crisis, such as the loss of a partner or major health event. The safety net suddenly seems fragile or torn, especially when family support is distant (physically or emotionally) or non-existent. What once felt like sufficient financial or emotional resources is suddenly inadequate. A home may no longer be a safe refuge. This doesn’t just happen to those who have avoided planning; sometimes things don’t follow the plan (like when the sump pump fails).
This is where PSRC support & guidance services play a critical role for many people. It seems that many people, even those who come to the Suzanne Patterson Building frequently, are not aware that we provide these services. They are essential to our mission of supporting healthy aging and helping people make informed decisions, and to our dedication to supporting aging in place. But because the services are confidential and our staff are at Spruce Circle, these services are often overlooked.
Our services can help you or someone you know:
· Find out what benefits you are eligible for and answer questions about federal, state and local benefits.
· Professional social workers will meet with you or your family to discuss your situation, review options and create an action plan.
· Discover and link to a wide range of local services.
· Enroll in services offered by our community partners such as meals and transportation.
· Connect with volunteers who can help with things like reading mail, shopping, or companionship when it’s harder to get out.
· Meet with you at home or when in the hospital to ensure continuity of care and make changes in your plan as circumstances change.
· Keep in touch and be your “go-to” person so that you don’t have to navigate the complex array of services alone.
· Provide support and guidance to your family, whether near or distant, so they can better support you.
For example, our staff checked in with everyone we are assisting before and after the storm to ensure that they had emergency supplies and plans. Last week I met with a family considering moving Dad to Princeton to be nearer to them and a man who was making arrangements to bring his wife home from the hospital. One person stopped me to tell me how much she is enjoying her volunteer, and another recently told me how welcome she felt in the widow support group. We are collecting gift cards for food and supplies to help people for whom re-stocking is a financial hardship.
Neighbors, friends, family and strangers extend heart-warming acts of kindness during times of crisis like this week. But please remember that people need assistance all year long. Please support the PSRC social services with your donation, your volunteer time, and by encouraging people to use the services. With your support, we can expand these services to do even more for Princeton area residents in 2013.
Susan W. Hoskins LCSW
GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!
No One Ages Well Alone
Help at Home
November 2016 Family Caregiving
October 2016 Annual Report
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Is Your Home Age- Friendly?
May 2016 Director's Message Part 2 - We Need Your Help
May 2016 - Part 1 - Going Solo
April 2016 - Volunteering
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February 2016 - PSRC's Strategic Plan
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December 2012 - The Safety Net
November 2012 - Going Solo
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APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS
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September- Looking Back and Looking Forward
July - August 2011; Ageism
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Knit Wits, April 2011
Lessons and Legacies, March 2011
Independent Living February 2011
Home Safety January 2011
Witness to my Life December 2010
Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010
Retire in 3D!
Am I Old?
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Spirituality March 2010
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Hiring Home Care
Annual Giving by
Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009
Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind
A Personal Perspective on Caregiving
Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity
Write your own obituary
Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look!
Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008
Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning
Finding Rhythm and Purpose
Spring Cleaning II June 2008
V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008
Spring Cleaning April 2008
Have You Had the Talk Yet?
Get Moving with FitRhythms™!
My Condolences January 2008
What Are Social Services? November 2007
Plan for the Future September 2007
The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007
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Strategic Plan May 2007
National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007
Brain Health March 2007
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The End of the Journey May 2005
Clutter March 2005
New Dietary Guidelines February 2005
Transitions January 2005
Funding December 2004
Caregiving November 2004
Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004
A New Look September 2004
Safe Driving Summer 2004
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Communication June 2004
The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004
Seniors On The Move April 2004
Depression March 2004
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Random Acts of Kindness December 2003
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Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003
Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003