Help Sometimes Better Received When Coming from Other Seniors
Seniors Helping Seniors of Brevard helps our county’s mature citizens by matching seniors who want to help with seniors who need a little help.
Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS) co-owner Jennifer Helin didn’t have to look far for the motivation to start the Brevard branch of the franchise. Her mother and co-owner, Rosemary Barton, was the youngest of seven children who found herself in the role of caregiver at a relatively young age.
“My aunt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when she was only 49. I was just a teenager,” Helin recalled. “I came away from that experience knowing that there needed to be a service that was a little bit different and a little bit more flexible. Years later when I saw Seniors Helping Seniors, I realized that would have worked perfectly.”
The mission of SHS is to provide non-medical assistance in a way that maintains dignity and builds camaraderie between the client and the caregiver. The peer-to-peer model allows seniors in need to receive care from someone they can trust and build a relationship with. Helin says it’s often easier for a client to accept help from another senior than from well-meaning family members.
“Sometimes it’s hard, when you’ve been the one doing everything for everyone else for years,” Helin said, “to accept a little bit of help when you need it.”
SHS services range from companionship and help with simple everyday tasks to providing escort services to outings and medical appointments. They even offer long distance check-ins and overnight stays.
Helin says her ideal providers want to give back to the community. Judy Delahoussay, 80, started working as an SHS provider in May of 2019. One of her clients, Marge Salley, will turn 100 in February. Delahoussay makes sure she is up and dressed each day and does most of her grocery shopping and cooking. The two enjoy doing puzzles together while chatting about their families.
“We get along good,” Delahoussay said. “ I enjoy the company. It keeps me busy and I truly enjoy what I do.”
The variety of services offered help ease the burden on primary caregivers who often work around the clock. The company has the flexibility to make their own rules based on the needs they see in our community, and there are no monthly minimums when it comes to service.
The Electronic Caregiver is the newest addition to SHS’s offerings. The device can help assuage family members’ anxiety during these times of social distancing when they may not be able to visit as often as they would like. The Electronic Caregiver provides 24-hour monitoring, including medication reminders, movement notifications, and a GPS locator. Family members can monitor their loved one from afar through an app on their phones. A bluetooth feature even allows doctors to monitor patients’ vitals from a distance.
Read more articles in our digital magazine.