By Addie Rising, SHARECharlotte.com, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.
As 40-somethings in the midst of our own parenting journeys, my husband and I are taking on a growing responsibility in caring for our own parents. My parents relocated to Charlotte several years ago and are thankfully healthy and active. My mother-in-law who requires extra care will also be moving to Charlotte this summer.
Our situation is not uncommon. In fact after touring several retirement communities in Charlotte this year, I’ve learned it’s becoming quite the norm. As the area continues to grow, seniors moving into the area to be near family are an increasing part of that trend.
Yet services for seniors — those who are active and those who need more assistance — are somewhat limited.
The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte is bridging that gap by meeting Charlotte seniors’ needs on two levels. First they assist with basic needs for seniors who need assistance. And second, they are a wonderful place for active, able-bodied seniors to jump in and assist with a demographic they’re very familiar with. But, adult volunteers of all ages are always welcome!
Among the services provided by the Shepherd’s Center are Adventures in Learning programming, Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) Counseling to help seniors navigate their healthcare needs and subsequent costs and even travel opportunities to learn about locations locally and regionally.
The Shepherd’s Center also helps seniors who can’t quite do all they used to do by providing rides to doctor’s appointments and pharmacies and offering handyman services for simple household tasks.
Last year nearly 75 senior volunteers taught over 700 seniors in the Adventures in Learning program. Over 200 seniors participated in computer learning and over 25 drivers made nearly 450 trips to medical appointments.
Right now, The Shepherd’s Center needs more drivers so they can care for the many requests for rides that come in. They are also in need of volunteer teachers to assist with the computer learning program.
Please visit SHARE Charlotte to learn more about The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte and discover other ways you can help our senior neighbors in Charlotte.