Missoula Aging Services is a wonderful resource in many different ways. I personally am familiar with two of them. Each year I make an appointment to discuss and update my Medicare supplementary insurance. This not only saves me money with healthcare expenses, but also ensures that I am aware of any changes in coverage of medical care or prescription drugs by my insurance company. This wouldn't be possible without the advice and guidance of the professionals and volunteers at Missoula Aging Services.
In addition to seeking personal help from the agency, I also volunteer several hours a week as a Senior Companion. This involves spending time with seniors who are in need of human camaraderie or transportation to grocery stores or doctor's appointments. Some clients are active and love to get out; others are lonely or isolated and just need someone to talk to. Often, the time that a volunteer gives to these individuals means the difference between staying in the comfort and familiarity of their homes and moving to assisted living facilities. In some cases it gives family members respite from the daily stress of caring for a loved one living in their home. It is tremendously satisfying to know that a few hours a week can make such an important difference in the lives of others.
This organization is essential to our community, providing a light in the darkness for so many seniors and caregivers, MAS allows our citizens to live the lives that they want. I believe that the strength of their staff and volunteer force, is their passion and belief in the MAS mission. They arrive to work each day knowing that they will make a difference, and this community is so much stronger because of their involvement. I recommend them as the first and most complete resource for elder care, connection, health, and financial and mental well being.
Missoula Aging Services enabled me to spend 12 years of retirement teaching weekly science classes for all the third grade classes at Rattlesnake Elementary School. I thoroughly enjoyed this time with the kids and the teachers, and judging by the Thank You's I got every year, they enjoyed it too. A few of the topics we covered were Newton's Three Laws of Motion. Astronomy, Earth science, evolution of life on earth, black holes, and many more topics.
Bob, what a great way to spend retirement! Thanks for sharing your story and passion for teaching.
I became a caregiver for both parents at the young age of 62, having no idea how difficult it would become. Ageing services helped tremendously providing a care-giving class and support group. It was great to get tips and with being around others that could relate to my situation. I wasn't alone! Ageing services was also a great help with respite resources which I discovered was sanity (and physically) saving for me! i really appreciate all the help I received during a difficult 4 1/2 years of care-giving.
We're so glad you were able to find a community of caregivers by attending Powerful Tools for Caregivers and the monthly support group. Thanks for sharing your story!
Since my wife and I first signed up as clients with Missoula Aging Services a few years ago their help to us as an elderly couple has been a godsend to us.We first started as 1 hour a week clients for help with cleaning our apartment. Since that time we have been privledged to have participated in Meals On Wheels and recently the Respite Services Program both of which have significantly contributed to our well being.My wife is 73 years old and an amputee (left leg) since age 17.I am 78 years old and also have significant health problems such as MS , open heart surgery,and diabetes.My wife is also diabetic,has stents in her left carotid artery,and also had a stroke a few years ago.As you can well see Missoula aging Services has, and continues to be, a significant contributor along with excellent medical care here in Missoula, MT, to our continued well being.
Sincerely , Joseph A. Pietro
We appreciate your kind words, Joseph.
When I lost my job at 59 I spent a long time searching for another. I applied for every kind of job but had no luck at getting one. One day my friend said she had heard on the public radio station that Missoula Aging Services needed volunteers. I was getting close to my 60th birthday so I decided to check it out. I talked to Alicia and was told about the Senior Companion program. I applied and was accepted and went to training soon after my intake. It was a life saver for me. That was 6 years ago. I switched to the Foster Grandparent Program and for the last few years worked at Franklin School. I have made good friends with other seniors. I appreciate all contact I have had with Missoula Aging Services.
JoAnn, we've been so grateful to have you as a Senior Corps volunteer! Thank you for your service and your encouraging words.
I am a service coordinator in an independent living nonprofit retirement home. Many people here do not have much money to pay for services. Through the Senior Companion program at Missoula Aging Services several of the elderly residents here have a friend that really makes a difference in their lives. In a few hours weekly with each client good things happen. Errands are done, trips to medical appointments take place and friendships flourish. These helpers bring continued independence with their visits. They receive thanks from their clients, and a small stipend from MAS. This works well for everyone involved.
What a great perspective on our Senior Companion program! Thank you for sharing.
I am a foster grandparent at Hawthorn school, I enjoy helping in the classroom setting I am going on 8 years, this gives me something do every day and it, in riches both the children's lives as well as mine, I enjoy what I do and I would recommend any person that is retired to come and volenteer you will be happy you did.
Ericka, we're so glad you've found your perfect volunteer opportunity. Thank you for sharing about your experience as a Foster Grandparent!
At Missoula Aging Services in Missoula, MT, counselors assist clients in (a) becoming aware of, (b) understanding, (c) applying for, and (d) following through on a wide variety of governmetally- and privately-funded assistance programs. Speaking only for mtself, their expertise has helped me to successfully apply for and receive benefits from ~
~ Social Security Disability (and subsequently simple SS Retirement)
~ food stamps (SNAP)
~ Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)
~ State of Montana Elderly Homeowner/Renter Tax Credits (2-EC) for several past years plus the most recent year
~ State of Montana assistance in paying for Medicare monthly premiums
~ and probably a few other's I'm forgetting.
The counselors at M.A.S. are uniformly well-trained, wel-informed, know the appropriate agency and its contact people (including all pertinent phone/FAX numbers, as well as any needed email, postal, and physical addresses.
They are also cordial, professional, respectful, and a pleasure to work with.
My only quibble (and it is a small one) is that among the M.A.S. counselors there is one who is very, very slow in responding to phone messages or email inquiries. This is the only exception I know of in an otherwise universally successful organization ~ one which deservedly enjoys a high reputation within the Missoula communities of service providers and service users alike.
In the opinion of this 69-year-old retired man whose life is burdened by Parkinson's and a dozen other conditions (for which I am far too young, if you were to ask me), M.A.S. should serve as a national model for prompt, courteous, efficient, thorough, empathic, reliable and professional non-profit community service. I never walk out of their offices without feeling accomplished and in better spirits.
Richard, we really appreciate your feedback! We're working on a solution to improve response times from our busy Resource Specialists to ensure our clients receive a prompt reply. Thanks for sharing about your experience with the Resource Center.