Lifeforce in Later Years (“LiLY”) enhances the well being of our oldest community members through free- of-charge services with a corps of dedicated volunteers; brings community partners together; expands its model nationally; and raises awareness to improve the way we honor and care for the elderly.
Morningside Village, LiLY’s nationally recognized model program in Morningside Heights in Manhattan, through a cadre of skilled volunteers, is helping elderly neighbors to age comfortably in their own homes where they want to remain. In 2015, we founded a second Manhattan-based community program, West Harlem Neighbors, as well as Catskill Neighbors in upstate New York. Trained caring volunteers, who live nearby, befriend frail elderly neighbors, help to connect them with the community and needed services as well as new friendships, promoting health and happiness.
HOW WE WORK
Achieved through the power of caring, trained neighbors and skilled social workers, LiLY’s neighborhood programs (in Morningside Heights and in West Harlem, Manhattan) provide a deep level of support to community elders living at home.
- Support an elder just home from hospital, by having a volunteer on hand to pick up prescriptions, shop for food and hold a hand.
- Clean apartments of elders who can no longer use a vacuum cleaner and mop.
- Help with practical emergencies, like bringing over an ice-pack or even changing a lightbulb in the dark of night.
- Help prioritize correspondence, make calls, write letters when technology can be confusing.
- Accompany elders on trips to the doctor for treatment.
- Fill the refrigerator when money is scarce; and connect a senior with helping organizations like Meals on Wheels.
- Replace a 50 year old mattress.
- Arrange for a team of trained and dedicated volunteers for an elder who has lost mobility.
- Create events big and small, such as a gala luncheon for 100 or birthday celebrations for the oldest people we serve, such as that for 107-year-old Mrs. Irene F. and 101-year-old Mrs. Doris C.
- Organize inter-generational programs, such as elementary school outreach and university volunteers visiting of elders.
- Provide opportunities to enjoy activities as part of community, by buying supplies and refreshments for groups such as film-watching circle, fitness group, walking group, book circle, board game players, French conversation clique, jewelry making group, music-making friends, bereavement group, care-givers support group, Latino drama group, and dominos players.
- Pay for salaries of social workers, who help when difficulties arise, who can consult with families who live far from the elder (with the latter’s permission), help to mediate issues in the household when professional care providers are not working out, connect elders with needed services and supplies and provide volunteer support.
With our experience and with requests from all over the nation, LiLY publishes free-of-charge Guidelines on its website and has mentored leaders in other communities.
CELEBRATE OUR ELDERS WEEK
Through LiLY’s annual New York Citywide Celebrate Our Elders Week campaign (October 1-7), your dollars bring schools, nonprofits, public agencies and media together to advocate and promote respect, inspire the creation of programs, and increase volunteerism.