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It’s Good to Have Options

Home/Care, Neighbors/It’s Good to Have Options

For a single adult in his or her late 70s experiencing a range of health issues, such as congestive heart failure or chronic obstruction pulmonary disease, it can be challenging to take care of their own needs, as well as maintain a home on a fixed income. A task as simple as laundry can become a burden which adds stress that can potentially lead to further health complications.

In years’ past, Masonic Villages has printed and distributed its Report to the Community. In an effort to “go green,” this year’s report is only available online. Masonic Villages is donating the money saved on production costs to charitable organizations serving seniors across Pennsylvania.

A $2,500 donation was made to the Allegheny County OPTIONS program on behalf of the Masonic Village at Sewickley. Shown above (back row, l-r): Russ Goralczyk, OPTIONS program supervisor; Mike Dunn, care management operations director for Lifespan; participants of the Imperial Lifespan Senior Center; and Eric Gross, Masonic Village executive director. Front row (l-r): participants of the Imperial Lifespan Senior Center and Claudia Brenneisen, Masonic Village Retirement Living Association president.

The OPTIONS program, run through the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, serves more than 6,000 seniors facing a range of hardships. The most requested services are personal care, which includes assistance with bathing, dressing and toileting; and home support, which includes tasks like laundry, cleaning, lawn mowing and shopping.

OPTIONS also offers adult day services at centers where a senior can receive supervision and help during the day but return home in the evening, as well as care management, counseling, emergency services, home delivered meals, home health, personal emergency response systems, respite care and transportation.

The cost of services is based on a sliding scale dependent on an individual’s income. The program encourages family members or companions of participants to provide as much support as possible, with OPTIONS filling in the “gaps.”

“The goal of the OPTIONS program is to help participants remain independent and function to their highest level while remaining in their residence,” Russ Goralczyk, OPTIONS program supervisor, said.

Masonic Village’s contribution will provide much-needed items, such as shower chairs, hearing aids, nutritional supplements, walkers, incontinent supplies and more. Seniors on a fixed income often overlook these types of necessities because they are focused on covering essentials like rent and food.

The program is seeing an increase in requests for its services by participants who have aging needs, as well as mental health and drug and alcohol issues. Learn more about OPTIONS online.

“Masonic Village at Sewickley is proud to support the efforts of the OPTIONS program,” Eric Gross, executive director said. “It provides services for seniors who may not know where else to turn. The program’s staff are committed to community and well-being, which aligns well with our mission.”

In 2017, between awarding scholarships to teen volunteers, donating to local emergency service providers, hosting interns and many other efforts, Masonic Villages gave back more than $778,800 in support to the Dallas, Elizabethtown, Lafayette Hill, Sewickley and Warminster, Pa., communities, while also providing charitable care and services worth $48.9 million. For Masonic Villages’ full Report to the Community, visit our website.