Friends in Action and THriving in Place Downeast Launch Volunteer Project for Elders and Chronically Ill on Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle/Stonington
Friends in Action is recruiting volunteers for a new initiative on the Blue Hill Peninsula, Deer Isle, and Stonington that will provide in-home companionship and support for seniors and individuals with chronic medical conditions. A two-day training for interested volunteers will be held on April 12 and April 14 at the Blue Hill Public Library. Registration deadline: April 5.
The initiative is designed to help people like “Margo” (not her real name) who was recently discharged from the hospital. “Margo” lives alone. She has struggled with diabetes and COPD for a number of years. Her recent trip to the hospital was not the first. She was suffering from cellulitis, a painful infection in her legs. Margo gets overwhelmed by the demands of her healthcare and because she does not have her own transportation, often misses her medical appointments. Her son lives in the same town and tries to help, but she cannot get into his pickup truck and does not like to bother him as he works.
Because Margo lives alone and cannot keep her medical appointments, her health suffers and is deteriorating. Margo is also very lonely, spending most of her time alone. The new Friends in Action volunteer project would connect Margo with a volunteer who would visit her regularly and help her to manage her many appointments and other resource needs, as well as give her simple human contact and companionship.
Friends in Action (FIA), located at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth, was established in 2003 with the mission of offering free services to elderly and disabled residents of Hancock County and their families so that they can live independently, with dignity and a strong quality of life. “In addition to the specific focus of this new volunteer project, we hope to expand our more traditional services to the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle/Stonington. Our new volunteer project will enhance and inform our knowledge of this region and improve our services here,” said Jo Cooper, Executive Director of Friends in Action.
The project is in partnership with Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and is part of the Thriving in Place Downeast collaboration. Friends in Action has worked closely with Eastern Area Agency on Aging and Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County to design the volunteer training for the initiative.
A two-day training for interested volunteers will be held on April 12 (1:00 to 4:00 p.m.) and April 14 (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) in the Howard Room of the Blue Hill Public Library. Light snacks will be provided. Registration deadline: April 5. To register, or for more information, contact Anne Dickens, Friends in Action, 664-6016.