Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Services to the Elderly Receive Big Boost from Foundation for Roanoke Valley

Nonprofit organizations that provide services to the elderly received a big boost recently thanks to over $200,000 in grants awarded by Foundation for Roanoke Valley.  As part of the Foundation’s Special Interest Grants process, nonprofit organizations were given the opportunity to apply to the Foundation’s Mary Louise Home Fund and Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare, both which support services to the elderly.

“With the aging population in the Roanoke Valley comes an increase in demand for services to the elderly.  The Foundation is thrilled to be a position to award such large impact grants in an attempt to meet the need,” says Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Officer.

The following organizations were awarded a grant from the Mary Louise Home Fund:

  •  Family Service of Roanoke Valley received $35,000 to provide access to mental health counseling for the elderly in skilled care facilities and to those in rural areas who do not have the means of transportation.   Currently, there is no funding source to provide geriatric counseling services to facility residents when in skilled care, which occurs when specialized therapy is necessitated.  Furthermore, those living in rural areas are one of the greatest at-risk groups for experiencing mental health problems.  In-home counseling can enhance quality of life, improve overall health and remove physical barriers of seeking mental health counseling.
  • Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (F.R.E.E.) received $30,000 to purchase needed equipment for the elderly and to purchase a Hubscrub sanitizing machine.  F.R.E.E. depends on donations of gently used rehab mobility equipment; however, due to the constant demand there is a great need for funding to purchase equipment not in inventory.  Funding will also be used to replace its aging sanitizing machine, which is crucial to its operations.  Sonja Schaible, F.R.E.E. Executive Director said, “This funding will help many older adults in our community who desperately need equipment for their physical rehabilitation.  The equipment enables them to remain safe and independent, in part by restoring or increasing their mobility, both inside the home and out in their community.”
  • Joint Resident Council Inc. was awarded $40,000 to provide eyeglasses and teeth extractions/dentures to those elderly living in the Council’s service area.  The Joint Resident Council, Inc. serves residents who live in any property owned by the Roanoke Redevelopment Housing Authority.  A recent survey showed that eyeglasses and dentures were a critical need for the 258 elderly residents who live in those properties.  Jamice Rudd, Treasurer of Joint Resident Council noted, “For all those eligible seniors who ceased doing the things they enjoy the most, it’s time to start living again.  This grant will impact the seniors that we serve throughout the entire city.  It will provide them the means to obtain eyeglasses, dental extractions, and dentures so they once again are able to savor a good meal and see all the beauty that surrounds them.”
  • Goodwill Industries of the Valleys received $9,800 from the Mary Louise Home Fund and $19,650 from the Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare to support its Good Choice Companion program.  The program provides in-home companion and phone check-in services to help elderly clients remain independent in their homes.

The following organizations were awarded a grant from the Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare:

  •  Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley was awarded $35,000 to continue supporting its Senior Extravaganza for the elderly and to host two Caregiver College workshops.  The Senior Extravaganza is an annual event held in the Roanoke area and is well attended by older adults.  There are health screenings, pharmacy consults, exhibits about health and safety issues, workshops, and entertainment.  The Caregiver College workshops provide family and paraprofessional caregivers with practical information about illnesses that impact older adults, how to obtain the best care for their loved ones, and how to take care of themselves as caregivers.  Diane Kelly, Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley Executive Director said, “We are thrilled to receive funding from the Foundation to support programs for older adults in our community.  We are pleased to have the resources to again offer the Senior Extravaganza – an opportunity for health screenings, educational (and fun!) seminars, and entertainment attended by more than 450 people last year.  We also look forward to addressing and easing the toll of caregiving duties by offering separate Caregiver Colleges for professional and family caregivers of older adults with funds provided by the Foundation.”
  • Rebuilding Together was awarded $50,000 to support its Home Repairs for Older Adults program.  This organization provides free-critical home repairs to low-income homeowners to ensure a warm, safe, dry, accessible, energy efficient, and healthy home.  Currently, there are over 100 older adults on its waiting list.  This grant will be used to decrease that waiting list.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region’s community foundation, has served the Roanoke Valley for more than 26 years and currently administers over 300 named endowment funds established by individuals and families on behalf of the community.  For more information about Foundation for Roanoke Valley, visit www.foundationforroanokevalley.org

Pictured L to R: Kendall Cloeter, Rebuilding Together; Jamice Rudd, Joint Resident Council, Inc.; Diane Kelly, Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley; Duane Smith, JRC, Inc.; Kathy Thompson, Family Service of Roanoke Valley; Sonja Schaible, Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment; Angela Stanfill, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys; Sarah Jones and Mary Ann Lohr, JRC, Inc.