For a decade or more, a coalition of service organizations, churches and individuals who want to help senior citizens did just that through the Cambria Adult Resources Education and Support group, or CARES.
The CARES coalition disbanded in late 2014. Some who were involved with that group want to reinvigorate and revamp the effort that provided socialization opportunities for seniors with dementia and other illnesses, connected the patients and their caregivers with a variety of services, and offered brief respite opportunities and support for the often-overworked caregivers.
Priscilla Mikesell and others are hosting a communitywide idea-sharing get-together at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church meeting room, 2700 Eton Road.
“We want to bring together for a discussion group anybody who has anything to do with seniors so we can brainstorm and form a new board to get this going again,” Mikesell said.
She said the opportunities CARES provided were crucial for senior patients and their caregivers, especially in combination with other available services, such as free rides on the Cambria Community Bus and from Cambria’s Anonymous Neighbors.
“When seniors are socialized,” Mikesell said, “they can often stay in their homes three to five years longer” before they must make other arrangements.
Many CARES clients had been “strong, healthy, independent people,” she said. But eventually, “we’ll all need help.”
And when that happens, she hopes the coalition will be going strong again.