Delaware’s the Place for Happy and Healthy Aging

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All of us at Active Adults enjoy working with our “demographic,” although the real-life definition of that word is a bit complicated. You might be over 55 and looking for your dream house in a community where someone else does your major yardwork while you enjoy the pool, pickleball court and club house activities. But you might also be caring for your 85-year-old parents and thinking through – or worrying about – your daily life 30 years into the future.

Fortunately, I have some good news. Delaware is actually a very good place for folks who want to live active and independent lives. Sussex, Kent and New Castle county all have robust public-private networks of skilled, caring people who have figured out how to help people deal with daily needs while fostering a variety of social activities as well.

Beach life and so much more in Sussex.

Stay in your home, with a little help.

I’ll start off by spotlighting a wonderful service for folks who want to stay in the homes they love instead of moving to assisted living residences. The best way to do that is by having someone do your shopping, occasional yard work and home repair and being available to drive you to doctor appointments and other places when you don’t want to deal with traffic. For all of this, you can turn to Village Volunteers.

Membership in the organization is $750 a year, and includes help with all of the above tasks along with opportunities for friendly home visits with volunteers who enjoy hanging out with seniors. The organization has provided these services since 2010, with volunteers who are carefully vetted. Services are available from Milton to Bethany and several miles inland to Long Neck and thereabouts.

Get help dealing with social security, Medicare and more services, or find a place to hang out

There’s also a one-stop-shop for help in accessing public benefits if you’re a person of a certain age, and also finding local senior centers offering recreation opportunities, help with errands, social engagement and other services. Go to this website for the full offerings from Bridgeville to Laurel to Milton, Rehoboth and virtually everywhere throughout Sussex County.

Home health aides, transportation and more in Kent County

For help in your home

Caring.com, a national non-profit organization dedicated to directing caregivers and others to aging resources, has compiled a long list of organizations that offer help for Kent County seniors who want to remain in their homes.

To protect your income and investments

Managing your finances can be a challenge at any age – even more so if you need to determine when and how to access Social Security and Medicare benefits, protect your portfolios, and protect yourself from financial scams aimed at seniors. Stand By Me is a non-profit that can provide free assistance.

For all-around help in making life better

Visit the Modern Maturity Center, an organization that’s served Dover area residents since the 1970s. Its overall mission is to provide services that enable seniors to “age in place.” It does so through its Dover campus, where you can find caregiving resources, transportation services, access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other meal services, veterans assistance and numerous recreational opportunities. Learn more on the Center’s website.

Helpful senior services in New Castle

A great central resource for programs and services for seniors in New Castle can be found at the Senior Services page sponsored by New Castle County. There’s the Absalom Jones Senior Center in Wilmington offering meals, fitness and recreational activities, arts and crafts, caregiver resources and health and financial services.

You can also find similar services through senior centers in Middletown, Hockessin, and the city of New Castle.

Everywhere in Delaware

Another well-organized and highly regarded resource for every Delaware resident is the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center, where you can find lots of information about services for older persons and people dealing with physical challenges. 

You can search for services in the county where you live on the Center’s website. This is truly the granddaddy of resource sites, with referrals to vetted home adaptation services, medical services, transportation services, assistance in accessing your social security benefits and so much more.

STAY TUNED!

While working on this post, we sent out a call for recommendations for restaurants that offer easy access for folks who use wheelchairs, walkers and other assistance. We’ll publish what we hear in next week’s post so you have a long list of destinations for easy dining options for yourself or those you care for. 

About Christine Davis

Christine grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania in a small town called Pittston, which is located between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Upon graduation, she enlisted in the United States Air Force, where she proudly served for eight + years at a variety of bases throughout the world, including Holland, Korea, and New Mexico. While in the Air Force, Christine spent most of her time working in the civil engineering career field where she thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with such a diverse group of people with varying backgrounds and experiences, and learned so much from each of them. Christine’s last assignment in the Air Force was at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, and that’s when she discovered the Delaware beaches. Growing up in PA, her family spent time at the Jersey shore. But once she moved to MD, she became one of those many drivers making the trek across the Chesapeake Bay Friday afternoon to visit the Delaware beaches for the weekend. Upon Christine’s separation from the Air Force, she spent a small amount of time working in Washington, D.C., but it didn’t take long before she was drawn to the quiet, slow pace of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, “the nation’s summer capital”. Christine moved to Rehoboth Beach in 1999 and finished her degree in Business at Delaware Tech. At the time she was working for a large physician organization when a friend recommended that she become a REALTOR because she loved helping people and loved looking at homes. She was reluctant for quite a while because Christine didn’t think of herself as a salesperson. But after much urging by her friend, Christine decided to get her real estate license in 2003 and has not looked back since. Christine still doesn’t think of herself as a salesperson, but rather a facilitator between buyer and seller, working toward a common goal. Christine aims to make the process as smooth and fun as possible but also educates the buyer and seller along the way so they can make the best decision possible. Christine now lives in Lewes and although she misses the mountains of PA, she thoroughly enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, especially Cape Henlopen State Park. Christine’s philosophy in life is that it’s too short. Never spend so much time making a living that you forget how to live.

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