NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 6, 2013

Port charity providing support for elderly women

NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women has provided funding to Opportunity Works that will ensure elderly women receive support they need.

Lois, 66 years old, participates in programs at Opportunity Works every day. She has been attending programs for many years. Lately, her physical condition has deteriorated to the point that she must now use a wheelchair at all times. When she leaves the building, Lois must be accompanied by medical personnel as well as by a staff member.

Lois would love to sit by the water or go out to lunch as other Opportunity Works participants do. The problem comes in when a nurse must be paid to go with her. The Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women (NSRAW) has long been an important supporter of Opportunity Works and the people it serves. This year, they contributed funding to hire a nurse to accompany a couple of our participants on these outings.

Opportunity Works annually provides services to close to 20 women who meet the age and geographic criteria of the NSRAW. Many of the needs of older women are different from those of others that Opportunity Works serves. They can be less mobile, more hearing impaired, live with dementia, and can be more isolated. Because of the generosity of the NSRAW, Opportunity Works has been able to offer services specific to their needs and help decrease their isolation. The NSRAW has truly enhanced the lives of many of our local residents.

The board of the NSRAW has contributed more than $63,000 to Opportunity Works to purchase equipment to stimulate or calm, decrease isolation, and increase the ability to communicate. Beginning in 2008 the NSRAW established our Aged Women Health and Wellness program, which focuses on physical fitness, nutrition, social/emotional well being, expressive art therapy, pet therapy, movement therapy and community experiences. Members range in their level of cognitive, emotional and physical abilities and have benefited immensely in many individual ways.

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