BATAVIA – A unique peer-to-peer model helps senior citizens provide experienced and compassionate care to other seniors.
Seniors Helping Seniors Fox Valley is a non-medical home agency that recruits senior citizens to assist other seniors who need help with daily living activities. The local franchise was started in 2015 by St. Charles native Caroline Olinger. Companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, doctor appointments, personal grooming and respite care are some of the services that the agency provides.
“If we didn’t have them behind the scenes we wouldn’t have the reputation that we have for all the great work that they do, they are our backbone,” said Carol Tanquary, office coordinator for Seniors Helping Seniors Fox Valley. “All of the providers’ dedication is amazing, many worked through the COVID shutdown so that their seniors would not be left alone.”
In addition to light household tasks, care providers also work to ensure safety, provide companionship and encourage independence.
“The big thing for us is they get to stay in their homes,” said Laurie Michaelis, who has worked at the agency for a little over a year.
The providers have a wide range of talents and experiences that they bring to the table. Most are retired, but bring knowledge from being former teachers, nurses, lawyers and even engineers.
“When I first went into this 12 years ago, I thought to myself I couldn’t do it because I’m not a senior,” said employee Elaine Tibbett. “You can be any age to get hired by them.”
Tibbett has been a provider in settings like this for a total of 12 years but has been with Seniors Helping Seniors for the last six.
Provider Gerie Shaw has been with Seniors Helping Seniors for three years. She said her neighbor encouraged her to become involved.
“It just sounded perfect. It has filled a void for me in a good way,” Shaw said.
The agency is located at 328 W. Wilson St., Batavia, in the same building as the Elderday Center. Although two different organizations, they both have a similar commitment to seniors and share the same goal of meeting the needs of seniors.
For more information about job opportunities and in-home services at Seniors Helping Seniors Fox Valley, call 630-937-4246, or visit their website: www.seniorcarefoxvalley.com.
Source: The Daily Chronicle