Freestyle Friday – Retired Professionals Volunteer to Help Seniors Live Safely
Here’s an article about a great sounding program that has taken shape in the city of Rancho Bernardo, CA. What a great win-win for both retired police officers and the community’s elder population who are still living at home!
Volunteer Police Retirees Help Seniors Live at Home Longer
At age 90, Rancho Bernardo resident Dodi Frost is happily independent — but also glad to know someone will pop in regularly to make sure she’s OK.
A widow who lives alone, each weekday she looks forward to “the visit” from her friends — retired RB residents who volunteer with the You Are Not Alone program, offered through San Diego Police Department’s Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP).
“They’re great,” she said. “We have the best conversations in this living room. We discuss everything from politics to .. — well we haven’t gotten into sex yet .. — but we have fabulous conversations in this room. The 15 or 20 minutes just flies by so fast.”
The You Are Not Alone program brings together seniors who are looking for a way to serve their community, with mostly house-bound residents who crave a connection to the outside world
Oddly, however, the program isn’t well known in the community — only about 10 people receive regular visits. With more than 40 volunteers, the program could handle about twice those numbers, said Tim Belanger, administrator of the Rancho Bernardo team.
Letting people know that You Are Not Alone is out there is the first step. Via sandiegouniontribune.com
Here’s another article about retired professionals who are inspired by their faith to give of their time and talents.
Inspired to Serve in Retirement
After Bruce Fallis, now 61, retired as a captain from the Texas state police in 2008, he and his wife, Marcia, 63, hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.
They prepared for the five-month, 2,180-mile trek for nearly a year. When they finished, they went home to Plano, Texas, and realized, as Bruce recalls, “We need something to do.”
Today they volunteer every Friday with a faith-based group called Plain-O Helpers — “seniors helping seniors” — performing such tasks as hanging ceiling fans, repairing fences and mowing yards. Each December both work at Plano Santas, a monthlong drive for food and toys for needy families. And four times a year they volunteer at Family Promise of Collin County, a network of 13 churches that helps homeless families.
“I remember this from Sunday school,” Bruce says. “The first third of your life you serve yourself — education, job, growing up. The second third you serve your family — a career to raise your kids. The last third you need to serve others.”
More and more retirees are feeling the need to give something back. “I believe that spirit universally touches and moves our lives through the purpose journey from cradle-to-grave,” said Richard Leider, of the AARP Life Reimagined Institute. “I believe that each person has a spiritual reason for being and that our world is incomplete until each one unlocks and lives her or his purpose.” Via aarp.org
These are just a couple of examples of retired professionals providing much needed help to seniors in their communities. Do you or someone you know participate in similar programs? Let us know by commenting below, or by starting a discussion thread in the forums.