Partner Profile: Senior Resources Inc.
Location: Columbia, SC
Mission: Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that coordinates services, provides resources and encourages the personal choices that allow Midland’s area senior citizens to remain healthy and independent. The organization’s services touch the lives of more than 4,000 Midlands residents.
Empowering seniors to remain healthy & independent: All activities, services and programs of the agency are geared toward promoting independent living, with the goal of helping seniors remain in their homes as long as possible through the support of staff and volunteers, thereby delaying or preventing the need for institutionalized care.
The safety net: Senior Resources is the only agency in Richland County providing services for free or a reduced rate, making it a “safety net” for those who cannot afford to pay for private services. Seventy percent of the agency’s clients are at or below 200 percent of the national poverty level.
The work is growing: According to the Central Midlands Council of Governments, the number of Richland County residents over the age of 65 is expected to more than double over the next three decades, from 37,541 elderly residents in 2010 to 88,710 in 2040. As such, the agency’s work will continually expand to meet the needs of these older residents.
The waiting list: With local, state and federal government funding, personal donations, grants and fundraising strategies, Senior Resources has been able to offer a variety of programs for the past 49 years so that clients can select the assistance they need to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle. But the needs in the community far outweigh available resources and the agency has a waiting list for most of its programs. The agency’s largest program, Meals on Wheels, for example, has a waiting list of close to 100 elderly and disabled Midlands residents.
How Colonial Life supports Senior Resources:
- Several Colonial Life employees deliver Meals on Wheels on a regular basis – and some have done so consistently for more than 15 years.
- As part of the holiday drives in 2015, employees donated supplies for, packed and delivered care packages (along with their hot meal for the day) for all of the Meals on Wheels clients that are served out of Westminster Presbyterian Church on Broad River Road in Columbia.
- Colonial Life has had a team of employees and family members in the March for Meals 5K run/walk for the past four years. For the 2016 event on Feb. 27, the Colonial Life team had 21 members.
- Colonial Life has been a sponsor of the Every Senior Counts fundraiser luncheon for Senior Resources for the past several years.
Why? “We have always enjoyed the opportunity to give back – and we joke saying that you never know what you are going to hear or see when the next door opens. The people that we see may not see anyone else all day long,” said Libby Tucker, a director of sales analysis and metrics at Colonial Life who has been delivering Meals on Wheels two or three times each month since 2002. She currently serves as president of the Senior Resources Inc. board of directors.
Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver “more than a meal.” “We’ve been asked to help reach something that they couldn’t get to, open up their sealed meal tray for the day because their arthritic hands just couldn’t do it, and help find a way to get them to the power company to pay their bill before their electricity got turned off (Senior Resources sent someone to help). I’ve even turned off a burner on the stove that had been sitting since breakfast with a frying pan on it. I enjoy helping these people who are no longer able to help themselves. It keeps me grounded and thankful for what I have (both health and resources). I know that I am making a difference in their life for that day.”