Welcome back. Nurses, fire fighters and cops. They all play important roles in our life’s journey and as we age there’s another group of people that is just as important. Can you imagine being a senior citizen still living at home on your own but unable to get out because of the pandemic? What if your kids live far away and your friends are in the same situation, unable to get out. Who gets your medication, brings you groceries, helps you clean the house, do the laundry and maybe even prepare some meals?
All this could be a huge problem except for a group of people who despite the danger are going to seniors’ homes, doing all of these things and more. Throughout the pandemic care managers and in-home workers have continued to help their clients all over Washington and Nowata counties as well as in Craig, Delaware, Kay, Mayes. Rogers and Osage counties.
So, you may ask who does this wonderful work for seniors, many times at no cost to them and also providing much needed personal contact during this period of extreme isolation? Well, if you haven’t guessed by now it’s Elder Care.
Most of you are probably familiar with this great organization but for those of you who aren’t here’s a little history. Elder Care was founded in 1983 and at the time it was the first organization in the state dedicated to serving the needs of senior adults and allowing them, or should I say us, to live independently in our own homes for as long as possible. When the organization began there were two staff members, today they employ over eighty workers in a broad range of programs including adult day health, physical therapy, speech therapy, care management, and caregiver services, They also have a great social networking group, exercise classes and support groups. Many of these activities are now taking place on line but I’m happy to report that some of their programs such as physical therapy have slowly reopened following strict safety guidelines. Elder Care is located at 1223 Swan Drive in Bartlesville and their number is (918) 336-8500. You can also visit www.abouteldercare.org to learn more about everything they offer.
Another of Elder Care’s core programs which never closed is the W.R. Bohon Senior Health Clinic. Dr. Jerry Brad Jarrell is the clinic doctor and he is currently the only internist in the Bartlesville area. Throughout the pandemic the clinic has continued to serve the community with both telemedicine and in person consultation, ensuring that prescriptions are filled and crucial care is provided to patients.
Elder Care is just one example of the many outstanding not-for-profits serving Bartlesville and the surrounding communities. All of these organizations have taken a substantial financial blow from the pandemic due to shut downs, cancellation of major fund-raising events and a very slow resumption of normal operations for safety’s sake. I am leaving this story by passing the offering plate. If you’ve got some spare change make a donation to your favorite charity. If you don’t have one consider a gift to Elder Care, it’s tax deductible of course.
Coming up for me this weekend is the big R&K Gun Show at the Tulsa Fairgrounds, then I’m off to Branson, Missouri to see how they are coping with all this.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….