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Without Us: The Essential Role of Montco SAAC in Our Senior Community

Updated: Jul 8

By Mark Clark, Executive Director

A couple of weeks ago, I had an experience that opened my eyes to Montco SAAC's critical role in our seniors' lives. Walking into the center, I noticed one of our members sitting quietly, looking unlike their usual cheerful self. Their subdued demeanor immediately caught my attention, and I knew something was amiss. I sat beside them and gently asked, "What's going on?" After some back-and-forth conversation, they eventually expressed a desire to go home, clearly agitated. I knew this was not normal for this person, so I called in our experts.

Our centers have excellent social workers in tune with our senior population. I spoke with one of our social workers, who sat down with them and quickly discovered that a change in the dining room seating was causing them anxiety. Noticing something was wrong led our social workers to dig deeper into what was going on in this person's world, highlighting the subtle yet significant changes that can indicate more prominent issues in a senior's life—problems that might go unnoticed without the close, caring eyes of our staff and volunteers. Without us, would anyone have noticed?

At our Ambler Center, another story beautifully illustrates the difference we make. One of our staff members relayed to me that a group of members played bingo regularly. One group member had hearing loss, making hearing the letter-number combinations called during the game challenging. The members of the group helped each other keep track of the game. This small group of members was very close, but one recently passed away. Another member started having medical issues and couldn't come to the center as often. Leaving just one in the group. Our staff member noticed that the remaining member seemed to be declining in their participation level and overall mood. Having regular interactions with our clients, our staff noticed the change immediately.

Around this time, we received a generous gift to purchase an electronic bingo board that displayed the letter-number combinations as they were called. This seemingly small addition had a tremendous impact. Within a few days, the member who had been struggling was fully engaged in our bingo games again, participating every time we played. Without us, this incredible coincidence might never have occurred, and this senior might have continued to feel isolated and disengaged.

At Montco SAAC, our centers in Norristown and Ambler are more than places for activities; they are vibrant communities where seniors find companionship, support, and a sense of belonging. Our staff and volunteers have regular interactions with our seniors, allowing us to detect subtle changes in mood, personality, health, or circumstances early on. These observations are vital. They enable us to take timely action, offering support and resources that can make all the difference in our seniors' lives.

Our centers offer a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond the basics. They are places where creativity flourishes, connections are forged, and health and wellness are prioritized. Our seniors engage in activities stimulating their minds and bodies, all within a community that cares deeply about their well-being. This environment is not just beneficial—it is essential.

Imagine, for a moment, a world without Montco SAAC. Without us, this safety net would disappear. Seniors might miss out on early interventions that can prevent serious health issues. They would lose a space where they feel valued and understood, where they can thrive in their later years.

I would confidently bring my parents to our centers, knowing they would receive the highest care and compassion. And I am sure many others would feel the same. Our centers are not just where staff members and the community unite, but also where they can find a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that their loved ones are in good hands, staying active and healthy.

As we continue our mission, I invite you to reflect on how Montco SAAC touches lives. Consider how our services, presence, and commitment make a difference daily. We are not just a center; we are a lifeline, a community, and a family.

Thank you for being a part of our journey. Your support and involvement are crucial in ensuring that Montco SAAC remains a place of caring for our senior community. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of our seniors.

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