Our highlights this summer and fall have been many, in spite of COVID-19. We continue to serve in so many wonderful ways. Living at Home (LAH) is blessed with top-notch volunteers, and our care receivers among the happiest and sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

In the last six months, we have been tasked with finding new ways to provide services to seniors. One way we have done this by mobilizing volunteers to call and check in on seniors on a regular basis. Sometimes they are weekly calls to ask if their basic needs are being met and just to chat. For many seniors, this is their only socialization.

I would encourage everyone to call your neighbors and friends and ask them if they need anything.

Outdoor patio visits have been a great relief for many, but with colder weather and winter fast approaching, that will no longer be an option. Although our winter services may be reduced or look a little different, we still want to make sure basic needs are being met. Please feel free to tell your senior friends and neighbors to call us if they need something.

Even though we cannot do in-person presentations to help raise awareness of our program, we continue to spread the word of the services we offer and that is just a phone call away.

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Some of our services have been suspended because of the COVID-19, but we do provide transportation to medical appointments and try to meet the basic needs by doing shopping/errands for seniors and deliver to their door. We often say that if LAH can’t help, we will find someone who can. We are all about keeping seniors in the home of their choice for as long as safely possible. We are a hub of resources in and around our community.

We specifically use the word “safely” for a reason. We work so closely with our care receivers, we often see safety issues before they do. We encourage good safety decisions and provide resources when personal safety comes into question.

These conversations are very difficult to have, but as we age it becomes clear that, at some point, we must make certain decisions for safety reasons. Perhaps you live a good distance from town and cannot drive any more, let alone plow the driveway and shovel the sidewalks in our harsh winters. This is hard work, and we all deserve a break with the hard stuff.

Maybe the decision is simply to hire someone to take care of these things for you, or maybe it’s time to think about moving to town. LAH can help with these transitions in life so that they remain your choices. The best part is that LAH can provide our services wherever you live, whether it be in the country, a house in town, an apartment or assisted living.

Connie Carmichael has been executive director of Living at Home of the Park Rapids Area (LAH) since October 2015. LAH is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to its mission of mobilizing volunteers and other community resources to enable seniors to remain in the home of their choice.