Last week I wrote about Village Volunteers https://www.activeadultsdelaware.com/blog/posts/2024/01/04/volunteer-to-help-seniors-stay-in-their-homes/, an organization that’s enabling seniors to stay in their homes by offering a team of people who do their shopping, take them to appointments, deal with light household tasks and provide companionship. It’s a wonderful service that costs just $500 a year for an individual and $750 a year for a household, and a great opportunity if you’re looking for this kind of support for yourself right now or attending to the needs of older family members.
This week I’m spotlighting another great resource for folks who live near Greenwood, Georgetown, Milton, Lewes, Long Neck, Frankford, Roxana and Millsboro. Like Village Volunteers, the CHEER organization fosters independence for those who are age 50 and older by providing a range of services, including:
Transportation. These services go a long way toward enabling seniors to remain in their homes because they offer a buses that are handicapped-accessible for traveling to stores, banks, post offices, and CHEER centers throughout most of Sussex County. The buses also go to many special events in the area.
The organization also offers volunteers who provide transportation to medical appointments.
Meals on Wheels and Nutrition Services. CHEER is a major force for nutrition in Sussex County because it delivers more than 230,000 meals to seniors each year. The meals are delivered Monday through Friday and on holidays, and are tailored to people with regular, diabetic and low-cholesterol diets. They’re all heart-healthy, and are supervised by a Registered Dietician. They’re delivered by CHEER volunteers who can also connect folks to various aging services, including home health services and transportation.
CHEER also delivers basic non-perishable groceries with its CHEERmobile. Offerings include bread, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, peanut butter, rice, sugar and other staples you need for the pantry, along with cleaning supplies and more. Members pay for the items with a check or cash or a credit card and there’s no charge for delivery. They’ll even fetch perishable items on a case-by-case basis.
In-home services. Once you become a member, you have the opportunity to meet with a staffer who will conduct a home and safety assessment and develop an individualized plan to help you coordinate Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, transportation and other specialty services. If you need it, they’ll also offer assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing, meal preparation and more. Housekeeping services are also offered along with companionship if you’d just like to hang out with someone.
Activity Centers. CHEER also operates centers that provide fun activities and meals. Each staff has a full staff that includes a center director, kitchen manager and outreach worker. A continental breakfast and lunch are served every day, along with a healthy afternoon snack. Group activities focus on mental and physical fitness and change according to the needs of members, who can attend five days a week, one day a week, or any time in between.
Transportation in handicapped-accessible buses is offered for people who don’t want to drive. The organization also supports and provides meals for Bridgeville Senior Center and Laurel Senior Center.
Memory Care. CHEER also coordinates informal social gatherings where folks participate in fun activities that help them retain and sometimes improve their memory skills. They help precent social isolation while stimulating happy memories through creative arts and music. There are also opportunities for caregivers to be involved in-person. The services are flexible to support people with different life experiences and at different stages of memory impairment and are offered in Georgetown, Long Neck, Milton, Greenwood, Ocean View and Roxana.
Membership is affordable! For a $30 annual fee, members can go to the Activity Centers for exercise programs, support groups, craft classes, health seminars, games, trips and a lot more, including fitness centers at some locations. No membership is required for those who just want to participate in center meal programs. Membership is open to anyone aged 50+.
To learn more, visit www.cheerde.com, or call 302 854 9555.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Over the next week I’ll do some research on similar organizations serving Kent and New Castle counties.