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Style Magazine

Senior Citizens

Jul 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

Folsom has itself one tight fix, thanks to Seniors Helping Seniors – a unique peer-assistance program that has put several members of the community back to work.

Sponsored and managed by the City of Folsom Redevelopment and Housing Department, the primary purpose of this handyman-inspired program provides minor health and safety repairs to Folsom homeowners age 65 and older without the financial resources to seek outside assistance, and also aids seniors aged 55 and older with a verifiable disability. If the City has provided its seniors with the tools of a truly unique trade-off, then the workers putting them to good and active use are equally as impressive; all program-affiliated workers are qualified senior tradesmen.

According to Nelia Dyer, residential program specialist with the City of Folsom, Seniors Helping Seniors started approximately 10 years ago with the intent to correct “health and safety deficiencies” in senior-owned homes located within the City’s borders. Corrections include minor plumbing and electrical repairs, hard-to-reach light bulb replacements, door lock restoration and repair, etc. To be eligible for assistance, applicants must have an income that falls under state income guidelines established by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Seniors requesting services can do so by telephone – a valued courtesy considering that many individuals of an advanced age are immobile or do not have access to transportation to make the trip to City Hall. After initial contact is made, the program coordinator will ask the applicant questions to determine his or her program eligibility. Once eligibility is confirmed, a qualified senior tradesman is then sent to the applicant’s home to verify that the work required falls within program guidelines. If it does, the tradesman will complete the necessary repairs at no cost to the homeowner.

Because the City of Folsom actively caters to seniors, it differs from other communities of similar size. Indeed, local residents seem to understand and recognize the valuable contributions of seniors and thus eagerly support programs and organizations designed to enhance their quality of life. In such a citizen-centric community, it is of little surprise that a program like Seniors Helping Seniors exists; it is, by all intents and purposes, an extension of the generosity that the community feels towards its own. Dyer feels that a senior-affiliated program is important to help members of Folsom’s older generation remain in, and keep their homes. “The City is pleased to offer this important service, as well as additional programs offered through the Senior Center at 48 Natoma,” adds Dyer, who counts the sincere thanks and joy the program receives as her biggest source of pride.

Individuals affiliated with Seniors Helping Seniors, like Dyer, are pleased with the success and services of the program, which they hope will continue as is. (If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?) While there are no events currently associated with Seniors Helping Seniors, interested parties can find out more information by calling 916-355-7356.