Douglas County Senior Services Program Manager Travis Lee wants Topaz Ranch Estates residents to know that a homemaker cleaning service is available for seniors in addition to its nutritional programs.
“We usually have a waiting list for seniors who need homemaker services, but now we’re looking for seniors to help,” Lee said. “We’re a good alternative to an expensive private company for seniors who are temporarily unable to clean or cook for themselves due to medical issues.”
The homemaker service is free for seniors who qualify. The program temporarily assists seniors with household chores such as laundry, cleaning and cooking until they are well enough to take on these chores by themselves.
The homemaker service has not had any vacancies in six years, Lee said.
Cindy Ponder has been a homemaker with senior services for seven years and currently has 22 clients but usually has 26.
Along with general household cleaning chores, Ponder said that she also provides companionship.
“I have one lady that I see every other week,” she said. “It’s difficult for her to go to the grocery store. Doing the shopping, loading the car, then unloading it and putting everything away in the house takes a lot of energy.”
Ponder said that the woman told her, “You don’t know how much that helped me.”
“It improves their quality of life so much mentally and physically that they don’t have to worry about stuff we consider small,” she said.
In addition to the homemaker program, senior services also provides Meals on Wheels to Douglas County seniors which is important to TRE residents because they are removed from town, Lee said.
The program has been in operation for 15 years and serves 25 to 35 people biweekly, Lee said.
“Seniors really depend on this program,” he said. “For some of them it is the only meal they eat for the day.”
For seniors who can leave home, there are scheduled lunches at the TRE Community Center with bingo beginning at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Danielle McGillivray, TRE’s satellite kitchen lunch driver, said that the lunch program usually has between 15 to 25 seniors and “they love it.”
McGillivray has worked with the program since September, bringing hot meals from the main senior services office in Gardnerville to the citizens of TRE.
“I love the way everyone comes together and socializes,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot out of it. It’s a real honor to work at the satellite kitchen.”