Home Tags Seniors
Not long after the Clarkston’s community center opened, the staff recognized that older refugees face unique hurdles in adapting to a different culture. “They’re the last [in the family] to get any kind of services,” says director Cindy Bowden. “They’re the last to learn English. They’re the last to get involved in the community. It’s important to offer them an avenue to belonging.”
One steamy July morning, in the dining room of a spacious Inman Park home, a group of longtime neighborhood residents strategized over muffins and coffee about how to combat the unpleasant problem of root-busted sidewalks. And how to address the fact that Inman Park is home to nearly 4,300 people and a multitude of pricey luxury apartments but not a single residence classified as senior housing.
When Pam Van Ahn greets you at the front door of Amy’s Place, she has a tail-wagging companion, Earl. The friendly black dachshund was previously owned by Van Ahn’s late mother, Carol, who was diagnosed with dementia and passed away in 2012. Van Ahn, a former nurse who moved to Roswell in 2011 to take care of her mother, says that her family created Amy’s Place—a unique gathering space known as a “memory care cafe” for people with dementia and their families—after learning firsthand what caregivers go through.
The nonprofit offers four- to eight-week classes on “getting started” with devices. They are all taught at places where older adults are located—senior living communities, rec centers, country clubs, and churches—throughout metro Atlanta. So far Bluehair has helped nearly 3,000 seniors learn to use smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
For outdoorsy seniors who don’t feel comfortable making the long drive to a state park alone—or who just want company on the trail—the Hearthstone Hikers are a group of 50- to 90-year-olds who explore the great outdoors twice a month, departing from Central Park in Cumming.
The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Nursing Home Transitions Program helps ease the transition by coordinating rides, arranging for help with bathing or grocery shopping, or even aiding in the search for new housing if necessary.
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