As I approached age 65, I didn't know much about the options and choices I'd need to make regarding Medicare. What I did know was confusing. I signed up for Missoula Aging Services' New to Medicare workshop because I knew they would present thorough, unbiased information in a way I could understand. After the sessions, when I had more questions as I worked through the information, I was able to talk to a Resource Specialist there who knew the information inside and out. What a relief to be able to access such knowledgeable support when one is dealing with important decisions like this! The professional staff at MAS are really topnotch--such an asset to our community!
MAS not only provides much-needed services for older adults and caregivers, they also offer volunteer opportunities and ways to engage with their community. It's a wonderful and reciprocal exchange of assistance that utilizes the gifts and abilities of older adults while also connecting them to resources that help them age with grace, independence and dignity.
Though I personally have never needed Missoula Aging Services (MAS) programs, my mother has been deeply involved with the organization since she retired a few years back. She attends workshops such as MAS' New to Medicare, she eats at congregate meals so she doesn't have to cook for herself, and she'll be attending a Life Reimagined workshop later this month. In fact, she's so committed to the organization, that she's also been volunteering with MAS to keep herself busy and stimulated. Not only is MAS a place for her to learn, but it's also a social outlet where she can meet other older adults. MAS has been integral in helping her navigate aging and growing older and as her daughter, I am truly grateful for this wonderful community resource!
I had heard that "Aging Services" gave help to seniors with issues, but didn't consider mine to be one..I was simply grieving, but couldn't stop. I could not stop crying. On the recommendation of my sister, I finally went and asked for some "Grief Counselling"
Within a short visit the counselor straightened me out. She taught me about grief and grieving and how it works. It made all the difference in the world. What a relief! It sounds minimal, but it was monumental. And it was "no charge". !
I truely appreciate the unique volunteer opportunities that have been presented to me. It is always fun to meet new people who have the same interest. Also, there is no pressure to volunteer other than what you place on yourself. The heartfelt thank you that you receive from Missoula Aging Services really comes from their hearts.
Missoula Aging Services is a solid organization that offers important help for older adults just when it is needed. The staff helped me file a report when my mom's insurance company was giving her a difficult time. Fast, efficient - and compassionate.
MAS was awesome in matching me with a volunteer site. I have been with the Police Department and St. Pat's Hospital for almost 17 years. With all the services that they provide, I was able to contact my daughter, power of attorney for my mom, and she was able to check in Billings to see if they had the same services. I am always telling others about going to MAS to sign up to volunteer and what services they offer and which services are free. MAS is compassionate about their role to the seniors, helpful to find volunteer sites or to suggest the different services they provide. You are wonderful!!
Missoula Aging Service (MAS) has been extremely helpful to my mother and my family. Having them available to offer support, knowledge, and to provide resources and guidance to other available resources has been instrumental in our ability to help our mother as she ages. Without the help and assistance of MAS, I believe my mother and our family would have struggled greatly through many of the challenges we have faced in the last couple of years.
Thank you MAS!
So glad to help you, your mom, and family! Thanks for your support.
My Mom, DonnaRae Iverson, so loved volunteering as a Foster Grandma. She was at Russell for six years I believe and only like a month or so at Hellgate Elementary. She had fun reading to the kids and helping the teachers with special projects. She had a stroke in November 2015 and she has continued to spiral downward. She developed Parkinsonism with Lewy Bodies Dementia along the way also. She's also had a couple of mini strokes recently. She is currently on Partners in Hospice and in the first stages of dying. She's ready to go home, her body is tired...
Oh, I am so sorry to hear of her health. We are so grateful for Donna Rae's service as a Foster Grandma, and I'm sure the students remember her care and attention in the classroom. Thank you for the update, and let us know if we can help in any way. Our phone number is 728-7682.
I volunteer on a daily basis when I find the time. What a great agency that has helped ME many times as needed. I also have included MSA as a donation site upon my death.
Wow--that's wonderful, Nyla! Thanks so much for making a difference in our community as a volunteer.
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.