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November 18, 1988 - Image 108

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

1

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108

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1988

FOR SENIORS

Up & Out

Continued from preceding page

asking them to join together
to discuss the possibility of
establishing a new program
for the elderly. About 20 peo-
ple, representing nearly every
Jewish and local agency that
serves the elderly attended
the special meeting.
"We wanted a broad view of
where the gap might be;' says
Stone. "We weren't looking to
duplicate another program
that could be provided by one
of the agencies. And we didn't
want to interfere with what
someone else was doing. We
wanted to know what we
could accomplish that they
couldn't."
Transportation — that was
the key word Council heard
repeated over and again.
They learned that there are
many elderly people who en-
joy going to places and atten-
ding events but have a hard
time getting there. Someone
has to plan and organize the
program and event for them
and provide the
transportation.
"It makes sense," says
Stone. "Many elderly no
longer feel the need to plan
their social life; they're tired.
For some, most of their
friends and family have died
or moved and it's tough to
create situations for
themselves at this time in
their lives where they can
make new friends. So
sometimes they need a little
push to get out and to be with
their peers."
Council's first Up and Out
program was an hour bus ride
in Kensington Park to see the
fall colors. Several people who
participate in the meals-on-
wheels were told about the
event and a few Council
members told their family
and friends about the pro-
gram. About 12 to 15 people
attended. A bus picked them
up and brought them back to
their apartments.
Word got around quickly
and the Council made sure
that the word got out to as
many as possible. The mail-
ing list now numbers some
1,500 and includes all those
who participate in the meals-
on-wheels program. Bus stops
now include five or six apart-
ment complexes. And
meetings that once took place
in apartment club houses are
now held at synagogues to ac-
commodate the larger
number of participants.
"We charge a minimal fee
for the programs but we
basically deficit finance the
programs," explains Stone.
"Sometimes the fee hardly
covers the cost of the
transportation and we always
cover for those who cannot af-
ford it."
Nellie Steingold has been

attending most of the Up and
Out programs for the last two
years.
"A friend introduced me to
the program and now I
sometimes go with him and
sometimes with my friends
here at Lincoln Towers,
depending on the program;'
says Steingold. "The bus
picks . us up right here and
brings us back. I enjoyed the
theater, and I like the picnic
and the opera singers. And I
think the girls work very
hard. I do a lot of volunteer
work and I can appreciate
what Barbara and the girls
do. They deserve a lot of
credit."
Stone explains that the
logistics for planning one of
these outings can be stagger-
ing. Besides working out the
details for the programs
themselves, passenger lists
are made for each bus. Those
who made reservations are
called two or three days before
the event to confirm their at-
tendance and to make certain
that they know what bus to
get on and at what time. Two
volunteers are assigned to
each bus.
"Our seniors love the call
backs;' says Stone. "They love
to talk with you. And it's
wonderful. It's like talking to
a friend. They range in age
from 70 to 93 years and after
a while we do get to know
each other and we do think of
each other as friends."
Other volunteer respon-
sibilities include distributing
name tags which are also cod-
ed according to bus, setting
out the step stool and helping
passengers get on and off the
bus, making certain that
everyone gets back on the
right bus, helping to accom-
modate the often called for
changes in bus seating ar-
rangements, serving a snack
or meal, and just making
friendly conversation.
"We have a committee of
some 35 people and each
event usually takes about 20
volunteers," says Stone "It's a
lot of work but the reward is
great. Someone will sit next
to another person on the bus
and by the day's end they're
friendly enough to make ar-
rangements to sit together for
next month's program. A new
social connection has been
made. And besides, we get
lots of hugs and kisses at
day's end."
Sandra Weinberg tries to at-
tend all of the events,
especially the music
programs.
"I'm 80 years old," says
Weinberg, "and these pro-
grams give me a chance to be
with young people. I try to get
others here at Lincoln lbwers

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