Winter is fast approaching. It’s a time when the pace slows down, the rain falls and we start making holiday plans.
For senior citizens, it can be a trying few months. As the weather changes and the day darkens, our older residents may face depression, isolation and an increased chance of falls. For those without family members or children, November and December can be painfully lonely. Many seniors can find it harder to drive, keep up on chores like chopping wood and stay steady on slippery surfaces outside. When it’s harder to get around, they end up just staying home.
Caring for our elders is a year-round endeavor – since our population is dominated by those over 65 – but the fall and winter seasons are particularly critical. In the winter of 2013 and 2014 in San Juan County, there were 31 welfare calls, including 11 focused on the elderly. In years prior to that, the overall number of welfare calls was around 12.
Your local newspapers are producing the second annual Senior Resource Guide. Like last year, it will feature information about local services that strive to meet just about every senior need from housing to healthcare. We have incredible organizations and dedicated volunteers in San Juan County.
If you have a business or program that would like to be in the guide, please call Cali Bagby at the Journal (378-5696) or Colleen Armstrong at the Sounder (376-4500).
We take care of one another in our island communities, and we cannot let our senior citizens be forgotten.
If you know of someone who needs immediate assistance, call San Juan County Senior Services Manager Wendy Stephens at 370-7527. She can direct you to the appropriate program on Orcas, Lopez or San Juan.