By Marge Swayne, The Farmville Herald
Marie and Garfield Chaffin, ages 85 and 89, were a step away from a nursing home when Piedmont Senior Resources (PSR) stepped in. This year, PSR is stepping into The Amazing Raise to raise funds to provide for 36 seniors currently on its waiting list.
Typical of many PSR clients, the Chaffins spent the majority of their lives working in Southside Virginia. Garfield retired from Philip Morris, Marie from the Crewe Garment Factory after 35 years.
When Garfield developed Alzheimer’s and Marie found it increasingly difficult to look after him, a move to a nursing home seemed inevitable.
“These are the people that become invisible,” Young said. “They worked hard all their lives, own their own home, but as medical needs increase and travel becomes difficult, they easily fall off the map.”
After PSR accepted the Chaffin’s case, a PSR homemaker brought nutritious meals, did light housekeeping and grocery shopping for them and helped Garfield in and out of his wheelchair.
The couple’s daughter, Shirley “Cookie” Chaffin, asked Piedmont Senior Resources for help.
“We are very pleased,” she said of the PSR program. “If it wasn’t for the homemakers, they’d be in a nursing home.”
“These are all little things, but it allows seniors to stay at home,” help. It costs us $50 for four hours of homemaker care. I wish we had the funding to help more.” Some of PSR’s programs are well funded by federal dollars, Young said, but the Homemaker Program and related services are not. PSR depends on donations to fund its in-home services.
“The goal for The Amazing Raise is $5,000,” Young said. “We want to continue to help seniors stay at home through services like Homemaker Program, Chore Program and Senior Help and Repair Program.”
Piedmont Senior Resources is looking to The Amazing Raise to help them provide for more local seniors. A 36-hour online giving event, The Amazing Raise challenges communities throughout Central Virginia to increase their giving to local nonprofits.
Piedmont Senior Resources provides a variety of services, from legal advice to home-delivered meals, for those over the age of 60 in the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward.
“It’s the simple things that can make a difference,” Young said. “We do minor home repairs like installing grab bars in a shower or installing wheelchair ramps. For low income seniors we provide window unit air conditioners in the summer or space heaters in the wintertime.”
Buckingham County resident Kathleen Briggs, who received an infrared heater from PSR, is another satisfied client.
“The heater is such a blessing,” she said.
Still at home, Marie Chaffin fixes her own breakfast and works in her garden.
“Being here means everything to me,” she said. “I’d rather be here where my memories are, where I’m comfortable.”
“For many of these folks, we are the only option, the last resort,” Young said.
Piedmont Senior Resources will hold its Amazing Raise fundraiser at Charley’s Waterfront Café Sept. 16 from 4 to 7 p.m.
“We’ll have hors d’oeuvres, and our staff will have computers set up to take donations,” Young said. “We also hope to raise awareness of the needs out there. This is the kind of philanthropy that helps all of us — it benefits the whole community.