NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

September 6, 2013

Port charity providing support for elderly women


Newburyport Daily News

---- — 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.

The mission of the Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women, a private, non-profit charitable foundation established in 1835, is to serve needy women, 60 years and older in the Newburyport area (Newburyport, Newbury, and Salisbury). These women have been Newburyport area residents for at least one year or former residents who were forced to relocate for financial or medical reasons. Priority is given to individual women who demonstrate indigent status or an acute financial need for assistance.

The Society utilizes all resources to serve identified elderly women in the Newburyport area, including grants to established agencies that provide services to this population. Therefore, the Society is grateful for the opportunities to serve through the Opportunity Works’ Aged Women Health and Wellness Program.

Opportunity Works is fully committed to enhancing the life for people with disabilities by promoting a culture of dignity and respect and ensuring individualized services that maximize the independence of the people it serves. It also resolves to eliminate the barriers that affect people with disabilities through community advocacy and education.

To schedule a tour of Opportunity Works, located on Opportunity Way in Newburyport’s industrial park, please call Deborah Andrews at 978-358-5803 or email Deborah.andrews@opportunityworks.org.

The website is www.opportunityworks.org.

For more information about the NSRAW, please contact Ardis Campbell, President, at nsraw1835@gmail.com. Also the NSRAW website is www.nsraw.org.