Caring Sussex helping its seniors

October 18, 2013

It’s no secret that the population of Sus­sex County, particularly along the coast, is composed of lots of older folks. Based on the calendar’s habit of going forward and not backward, that trend will continue for many years to come.

Not only are local resi­dents aging, but much of the recent growth in Sussex is coming from retirees moving in from other states, attracted by our low taxes, pleasant climate, parks and overall desirable quality of life.

As we age, our requirements and expec­tations change. Those requirements and expectations are different for different people, but two common themes resonate across all of us. We want to retain our mobility so we can get around for our errands, appointments and recreation, and we would like to stay in our own homes amid familiar surroundings as long as possible.

Two grassroots initiatives are underway locally to attempt to address those concerns, without having to depend on government or family members. Working toward rolling out in November, the Greater Lewes Community Village is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit group dedicated to enhancing senior residents’ lives with support, services and programs.

The goal is to enable members, who pay an annual fee to be part of the program, to live inde­pendently and safely in their homes as they grow older, while remaining engaged in social, cultural and educational activities. Members will have access to discounted services from vendors that have been screened and vetted ­such as handymen, pet sitters, gardeners and more.

They will also have access to volun­teer services such as transportation, grocery shopping, computer assistance and phone call check-ins. Those interested in learning whether they are eligible should call 302-703-2568 for further information.

Another group calling itself ITNSouthern-Delaware is working to set up a senior trans­portation cooperative. This initiative aims to provide seniors with affordable transportation using volunteer services and modest fees.

More information on this will be published as it is received. Like the long-successful Meals on Wheels program, these inspired initia­tives depend on a neighbor-helping-neighbor model. They bode well for the future of our aging population and speak well of our Sussex community’s caring nature.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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