Lutheran Sunset Ministries Companion Services receives grant benefitting seniors living at home or in assisted living during COVID-19 pandemic
CLIFTON – For senior citizens living in their own homes or in assisted living communities, many social, mental and physical health, as well as financial benefits come with it. But with the rise of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, staying safe at home for the vulnerable population came with additional challenges.
In March, Lutheran Sunset Ministries’ Companion Services program received a $10,000 grant for the performance of otherwise-routine tasks, including grocery shopping, trips to the pharmacy and post office visits for residents sheltering in place at the Rainbow Retirement Community – LSM’s independent living apartments.
PNM Resources Foundation awarded $200,000 grants to non-profit programs working on increasing community safety. The preference was awarding funds to organizations that implement COVID-19 programs for the community’s most at risk senior population.
Normally, Companion Services’ four employees offer assisted trips to the doctor’s office, grocery or mail pick-up, household services, tending to household pets, sharing music and games for an hourly fee. With the grant funds, LSM can offer these services during the COVID-19 outbreak without charge. Also, the grant makes it possible to offer the services outside the LSM facility.
“We are so grateful for this grant, which will benefit the residents of Rainbow Retirement Community,” said LSM’s Companion Services Manager Michelle Lueck. “In the spirit of giving and community support, we’d also like to use our grant to benefit the residents of Bosque County.
“If you or someone you know is in need of grocery delivery, post office supplies or anything else that helps keep you in your home and away from others during this COVID-19 outbreak, our services will be complimentary during this uncertain time.”
Studies also show that maintaining healthy relationships and strengthening support networks can reduce stress and improve the overall quality of life. Companion Services provides families with the peace of mind that comes from knowing their loved one has a broadened support system.
Since its inception five years ago, Lutheran Sunset Ministries Companion Services helps older Bosque County residents remain in their home settings as long as possible by providing in-home, non-medical assistance for persons aged 62 and above. Sometimes, the help is temporary; offering assistance in the home during recovery following surgery after Home Health Care is maxed out.
PNM Resources – the non-profit foundation of Texas New Mexico Power parent company – supports the TNMP team members and communities. The teams are also looking out for the communities they work in.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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