Celebrating Seniors Week postponed

Opinion: Columns

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Matt Baron

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The 10th Annual Celebrating Seniors Week, originally scheduled for May 14-21, has been postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a future date, a rescheduled week of educational, entertaining and other activities to honor those who are 60-plus in our community will be determined. In addition, we will regularly provide updates on other elements of Celebrating Seniors that will continue, such as the selection and recognition of this year's "60 Over 60" honorees.

Meantime, in the coming days and weeks, we will provide ongoing communication and support for the myriad efforts already under way to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Celebrating Seniors Coalition is composed of volunteers serving Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park, and we are committed to serving those communities during this sensitive period.

Since 2011, we have celebrated, recognized and supported the older adults in our community who have displayed grace, caring, compassion, fortitude and resiliency in bettering our quality of life for many decades. Now those same qualities are what we all must draw upon as we look out for one another.

Through funds we have raised as well as through our partnership with the local townships, one of our cornerstones has been support for older adults who are facing financial need. That will continue.

In addition, the village of River Forest, River Forest Township and Township Senior Services are collaboratively establishing a Care Corps of volunteers to help seniors during this time. Volunteers will be able to help with non-direct contact services like prescription and grocery pickup, dog walking, and light yard work. Volunteers will be subject to a background check and will be directed to practice social-distancing and other health safeguards.

If you are a senior and you need Care Corps assistance, or if you wish to become a Care Corps volunteer, please contact Helen Kwan at rfseniorhelp@gmail.com.

Below are links to resources that are especially helpful for older adults, as well as the entire community as it relates to looking out for older adults.

For regular updates about our organization's ongoing activities and plans, please visit www.celebratingseniors.net as well as our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CelebratingSeniors.

One final note: as is widely known, older adults are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. We extend our gratitude to everyone, of all ages, who is choosing "we" over "me" and abiding by the social-distancing and other recommendations that have been shared by health officials.

Matt Baron is an Oak Park resident and founder of Inside Edge: Public Relations & Media Services.

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