A community treasure!
By LIZ LEAMY (click here for bio)
At Home in Greenwich is a golden treasure of the community, as this unique and all-important organization helps provide seniors, who currently comprise 20 percent of the town’s 60,000-plus population, with a rich array of support and social options so they can live in their own homes in a comfortable, effective and optimal manner.
This organization, which opened its doors back in February 2008 and is celebrating a benchmark 10-year anniversary this year, was inspired by the success of a similar faction based in the Beacon Hill section of Boston that kicked off during the early part of the first decade of the millenium.
Since its inception, At Home in Greenwich has been an ever-growing business and organization here in town as its 200-plus members have embraced the concept it promotes of being able to maintain the comfort and routine of their lifestyle in a safe, productive and enjoyable manner.
“At Home in Greenwich makes a very large community feel smaller by creating its own community,” said Lise Jameson, Executive Director of At Home in Greenwich, Inc., which rents space at the Second Congregational Church located on 139 East Putnam Avenue. “At Home helps people age in place, which means to live in the home that is familiar, in the community they love and the town, with all its benefits, they appreciate.”
At Home in Greenwich, which also celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala celebration at the Second Congregational Church in April is a mainstay operation for so many of its members who seem to be extremely grateful for the role the organization has played in their lives.
“Being home is important because it’s familiar, because we know where everything is more or less and we know all our neighbors,” said Dick Franck, a retired chemistry professor and member of At Home in Greenwich. “Our sons live nearby, so we can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Those who help run At Home in Greenwich were also excited about its impact on the community since it first opened.
“I am so proud At Home in Greenwich has reached its 10th-year anniversary. It was hard work and took a lot of determination and also many smart, dedicated people to further the cause,” said Jameson. “It’s inspirational and speaks to a need in communities everywhere that we check in with each other and with small changes, we can remain at home as we age more safely and enjoyably.”
Some of the many offerings and amenities of At Home in Greenwich include providing its members with transportation around town, help with small household repairs and tasks such as computer assistance and changing light bulbs as well as prescription pick up, among other things.
“I just know they’re there. They’re there to help me if I need their help,” said Andre Lanoux, a mixed media artist and At Home in Greenwich member. “What I want most out of my life is to remain independent and to remain at home.”
These services are all vetted so members can avoid worry or anxiety in regard to tasks related to their homes and daily schedules, chores and activities.
“It’s like a safety net to know that I can always call if there’s an emergency,” said Barbara Martin, a librarian and At Home in Greenwich member.
The primary mission of At Home in Greenwich, which costs a modest fee of 500 dollars annually for an individual and 650 dollars for a household membership, is to enable seniors in town ‘to confidently age in place by providing social and educational programs and assistance in matters of health and safety,’ also offers its fellows a plethora of fun social and cultural activities in which to participate.
A sampling of these activities include pot luck dinners, news and poetry readings, walking excursions, bridge and card game gatherings and group outings in which they visit local movie theatres and New York City museums, among other things, and are very popular among its members.
“We’ve been members [of At Home in Greenwich] for 10 years and the trips they’ve made to museums we had never been to, things we otherwise wouldn’t have known about, At Home in Greenwich connected us to them and that provided a good part of our settling into Greenwich,” said Jack Smith, a contractor and psychologist. “That’s part of emotional and social support, [which] is all having fun together.”
For those who help run At Home in Greenwich, the social function of the organization is all part of its mission.
“You can’t have too many people that care about you. At Home enables people to gain more friends and provide mutual support,” said Jameson. “We are a social club and a safety net.”
Meanwhile, members of At Home in Greenwich also comprise a diverse community in regard to their age, with these individuals ranging from 53 to 98, which makes for a high-energy and exciting social dynamic, to say the least.
Perhaps more than anything, members of this dynamic and important organization are a high-energy, intelligent and friendly group of people who seem not only to be benefitting from the terrific support and offerings of At Home in Greenwich, but also from the friendships they’ve made and cultivated as a result of belonging there.
“The friendships I’ve made in this group are just to be cherished,” said Mary Ann Hoberman, a longtime At Home in Greenwich member and former children’s Poet Laureate and author. “I hope I go on doing it for a long time.”
For more information on At Home in Greenwich, please contact:
AT HOME IN GREENWICH
139 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830