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Benina Sanchez had to learn how to live on her own after her husband passed away a couple of years ago. She has leaned many new skills, but the hardest part of this new normal was dealing with the loneliness.
Recent studies show that isolation/loneliness among adults 50+ and older, is a growing epidemic and puts them 59% more likely to experience a decline in their ability to perform their daily activities. (National Institute on Aging Health & Retirement Study in the Archives of Internal Medicine).
Pathways Volunteer Coordinator, Meg Fisch, was contacted by a concerned family member and went out to meet with Benina. She observed that Benina was very upset, cried a lot and felt very isolated. She had a scooter to help her get around but didn’t have a ramp that allowed access for the scooter. Meg was able to call in a trusted volunteer to install a new ramp for her. This enabled Benina to gain access in and out of her house with complete freedom.
Benina was also provided a volunteer who meets weekly with her to chat, run errands and occasionally take her out for a bite to eat. Benina say “My volunteers are my angels! I just don’t know what I would do without them!”
When Benina’s volunteer brought her to a recent Pathways event, the change in her was remarkable. She was dressed up, smiling and engaged in conversation…a complete contrast to how she was observed just a few short months ago. As we celebrate our nations Independence, Pathways also celebrates the Independence of Seniors who are helped through their programs and services.
Pathways is a local non-profit organization committed to providing compassionate care to those living with illness and loss. If you would like more information on their services or on how to become a volunteer, please go to their website at www.pathwayshospice.org or you can contact them directly at 562/531-3031.
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