By Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
Everyone I know seems to get very busy as the holidays approach – and this year is no exception. Sometimes all it takes is the eager face of a child or the gratitude of a senior to remind us that gifts of time and attention are far more satisfying and rewarding than any gift we can buy.
Donating money or canned goods to a food bank is certainly an easy and much-needed way to help the less fortunate among us. But I’ve found that helping specific people find the services they need can be just as satisfying.
Seniors and their caregivers can get questions about senior issues answered for free by calling the Senior Helpline at 678.377.4150 Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. It offers up-to-date information on housing, nutrition, social security, legal aid, counseling, education, recreation, rehab services, health care, Medicare and Medicaid, adult abuse and neglect, nursing homes, and much more. To speak to someone in person, please visit the Gwinnett Senior Services Center at 567 Swanson Drive in Lawrenceville.
In addition to operating the call center, Gwinnett County Senior Services provides a variety of programs and services for seniors, including homemaking and transportation help, respite care, and home-delivered meals for shut-ins. These services are open to all Gwinnett residents 60 and older. Some have an income-based fee scale.
Care Managers are available to meet with individuals and families to help determine needs, explore potential resources, and help seek funding options. The goals are to support both client and caregiver so seniors can live at home independently and safely and to prevent caregivers from being overwhelmed.
Gwinnett also offers senior activity centers with daily planned programs in Buford, Centerville, Lawrenceville, and Norcross.
Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that raises funds to support senior services programs. Call 770.822.8775 or visit www.fogcss.com for more information.
To help out by giving of your time, please go online to www.volunteergwinnett.net, where you can find unmet needs and volunteer on a one-time or an ongoing basis through our Volunteer Gwinnett program.
Cold weather shouldn’t chill our willingness to help others. Many folks need a helping hand and there’s no way local governments can provide all the services they need. So please find a way to help others this season. I bet you’ll enjoy the holidays even more if you do!