For Leslie Wright, Vice President of Community Building, and me, Tuesday, September 13 was like any other work day with one exception: we were able to support Aging Services Inc.'s program Milestones Adult Day Services.
The Milestones Adult Day Services program provides a safe and nurturing environment for those with independence barriers during the day when their primary care provider is at work, running errands, or needing a respite to recharge. When we visited, clients ranged in age between 20 to 101 years old.
Kathy Horan, Executive Director of Aging Services, Inc., invited us to visit in order to see the work United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) helps support. After a tour of the facility, we listened to people share their weekend highlights and insights on the news. Then, they had a brief warm up incorporating exercise and movement before several competitive rounds of bingo.
We listened to a woman, who appeared in UWECI’s 100-year celebration video, share how she benefited from services in accessing care. We also heard a man and woman share their stories of marriage, joy, children, grandchildren, and loss. At the end of our visit, we helped serve a nourishing meal, lovingly prepared by long-time staff and volunteers.
As we drove away, we heard many goodbyes and saw lots of waving hands and smiles. Our invaluable experience served as a reminder that we need to make time to appreciate the work that this day offered: opportunities for people to connect with others, remain active, and engage in a sense of community.
Thank you, Aging Services Inc., for letting us see how priorities in life should revolve around nurturing relationships, taking the time to listen and help when you can, and truly lift one another’s spirits!