One finding of a survey of Americans over 55 won't surprise many people in that age bracket, or younger: They most value maintaining their independence and staying in their homes and communities.
But the poll also revealed that this is an elusive goal for one fourth of that age group — 16 million people — who struggle with activities like shopping, cooking and housework.
Commissioned by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the survey will direct the growth of its Faith in Action program, where interfaith services meet daily needs through volunteers. The program provides grants to groups for administration and training. (For more information, call 877-324-8411 or see www.fiavolunteers.org.)
Some Lutheran congregations and social ministry agencies participate in Faith in Action. Holy Family Ministries, Chicago, welcomes volunteers to take on chores for a day at a public housing facility for elderly and disabled residents. In San Diego, the Caring Neighbors program of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California matches those who need home maintenance and routine repairs with volunteers from congregations.
Many other services are offered directly through social ministry agencies. For example, Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center, Brush, Colo., provides in-home services to more than 100 senior citizens in rural areas—from clipping toenails to washing windows. (To find one in your region, call 800-664-3848 or see www.lutheranservices.org .)
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