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Liz Welsh: Amherst Neighbors nears launch

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Friday, April 19, 2019
Amherst Neighbors nears launch

I am thrilled to see the article titled “Elder Access to Home Care Needed” that describes Mindy Domb’s interest in legislation to increase home care services and enable elders to “age in place.”

As a home care nurse and a board member of Amherst Neighbors, I can attest to the need. Elders make up nearly 25 percent of Amherst residents and that number is growing quickly. It will take efforts of all kinds, from legislative, to the continued good work of our Amherst Senior Center, to grassroots efforts, to make this real.

I am very excited to be a part of Amherst Neighbors, a new member-led organization whose mission is to build neighbor-to-neighbor connections, provide access to information and services, and empower elders to maintain socially engaged lives will aging at home.

Our efforts will complement the wide array of programs provided by the Amherst Senior Center. We will promote informal and formal gatherings and interest groups, as well as practical support with a strong volunteer program linking volunteers with elders.

Volunteers will provide the sorts of things that neighbors once did more of, such as providing company, rides, grocery shopping, shoveling, or taking out the trash — things that make life richer and a little bit easier. The connection is as important as the favor. We also will foster the spirit of reciprocity with the understanding that everyone has something to give.

In order to be strong and robust, we are in the process of building a strong foundation before we “launch” our services and programs. We have recently begun creating committees. Just last week we established our board of directors. We will apply for our nonprofit status soon.

If this catches your eye and you are interested in learning more, please contact Amherst Neighbors at: amherstneighbors01002@gmail.com or call us at 413 345-2555. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Liz Welsh

Amherst Neighbors