Our Church Opens Minds through awareness about the variety of disabilities that affect people every day. There is no us and them when it comes to disabilities. All people are differently-abled and all people will experience some disability, at least once in life. A parish Opens Minds whenever it takes concrete steps to exercise God's compassion for people who are differently-abled physically, mentally or emotionally.
By 2050, 20% of Americans will be over age 65. Aging is a natural stage in the beautiful progression of life that carries special gifts. One gift may be the need for service from others. Another gift may be staying connected to your parish community. Another may be the reality of physical limitations. It is a blessing for the church community to be able to offer maturing adults support with the challenges that advanced years bring. Some parishes have parish nurses that offer help with such routine care as blood pressure or help with transitions from house to hospital and back. Contact your parish to learn what local support is available. Please consider the tools and resources provided here for aging issues and refer to links for other specific disabilities on the left sidebar.
National Institute on Aging www.nia.nih.gov - leads the federal effort on aging research. This site includes an online directory of health and aging organizations and free publications on a variety of aging issues.
National Council on Aging www.ncoa.org - offers ways to improve the life of older Americans. Learn how to improve health, enhance economic security, promote independence and dignity, and stay connected to community organizations. Every 35 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. One in five older adults is caught in the grips of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. Nearly 7.1 million Americans aged 65+ live in poverty. A third of retired older adults rely on Social Security for more than 90% of income.
Catholic Charities offers these programs:
Chautauqua County Outreach to the Aging offers referral and advocacy at the Dunkirk office.
Foster Grandparent Program provides income eligibility persons over the age of 55 a stipend, transportation, and a meal as they establish one-to-one relationships with children who have special or exceptional needs.
Project HOPE (Helping Older People Excel) provides time-limited Care Coordination services to keep an older adult with a mental health diagnosis in their home through linkage, referral, advocacy and intervention with formal and informal supports.
Senior Day Program provides a social model program for the physically frail, functionally impaired, socially isolated, and cognitively challenged.
Telephone Assurance Program (TAP) is a free volunteer service that provides regular telephone calls to homebound elderly and disabled persons to check on their well-being, and gives people an opportunity to socialize.
Depression in Older Adults and the Elderly: Recognize the Signs and Find Treatments that Work
Hearing Impairment: WNY Health Magazine article There is No Time Like the Present to Treat Hearing Loss
Network in Aging of WNY www.networkinaging.com - Established to help members enhance their efforts to improve the quality of life for older persons and their families by providing them with opportunities for resource exchange, professional development, and stimulation of interdisciplinary collaboration.
The Telephone Assurance Program offers seniors or those homebound who live alone an occasional friendly phone call from a volunteer.
Western New York Health www.wnyhealthmag.com/articles/hlth/no-time-like-the-present-to-treat-hearing-loss.html - article on addressing hearing loss with seniors
Pastoral Visits with Someone with Dementia
Aging & Mental Health
For more assistance from the Diocesan Disability Action Team, contact Dennis Mahaney or call 716-847-8393.