Senior Village at SaddleBrooke – Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Senior Village member John Schmidt appreciates helpful volunteer drivers, like Jan Maresca, for transportation to medical appointments.

Senior Village member John Schmidt appreciates helpful volunteer drivers, like Jan Maresca, for transportation to medical appointments.

Leave the Driving to Us

Gary Hammond

Most of us probably remember Going My Way, the famous old movie starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald. It won seven Academy Awards and was Best Picture back in 1944. Jumping ahead to today, Senior Village has its own version of “Going My Way,” which is our most popular service for SaddleBrooke residents. Vetted volunteers drove 33,000 miles last year taking members around the Tucson area. Most trips were to medical appointments, but other destinations included pharmacies, grocery stores, hair salons, and many more.

One very satisfied user is John Schmidt. John and Peg moved here in 1998 from the St. Louis area, in part to be near a daughter living in Tucson. In the early days, Peg was an active swimmer and a very talented artist. John was an avid golfer, tennis player, and hiker. John became a widower four years ago and, like most of us, has slowed down a bit now. He is one of our earlier members, joining Senior Village in 2016.

Despite some partial limitations in hearing and vision, he can still drive a little locally, but relies on Village volunteers for longer trips, mostly to his eye and ear doctors. Of course, he wants to stay in SaddleBrooke, living independently as long as possible and being near (but not too dependent upon) his daughter’s family. Senior Village is a key part of his plan to do so.

To others who may be considering joining, John says, “Don’t hesitate, don’t wait too long. Join and help now, so it will be there in the future when you need it.” His 92nd birthday is just around the corner, so he’s been planning ahead. He also practices what he preaches and is a patron of the Village (thanks for your support).

John has also taken advantage of the free loan of the village’s audiobook players. He knows there are other services available should he need them. These include Helping Hands (simple household tasks), Lock Box installation (for easy emergency access), Friendly Contact, Fun with Friends (lots of social activities) and more. You can check them all out on the Senior Village website at seniorvillage.org.

Annual dues for Senior Village are $48 for a single and $60 for a household which cover 72 services a year. To join the Village, call 520-314-1042, and to volunteer log on to the above website.

Aging in Place in SaddleBrooke

Barbara Barr

On Friday, April 3 at 10 a.m. in the Sonoran Room, members of the SaddleBrooke community can learn more about “aging in place.” David Loendorf, president of Senior Village at SaddleBrooke, will speak about the latest offerings from the Senior Village. The topic has been one of the most requested of the Wellness Integrated Network (WIN).

As part of the national “aging in place” movement, it is the mission of the Senior Village to help members live independently in their homes and to serve as a resource when they decide to transition from our community. Loendorf has been involved with the non-profit organization since its inception in early 2016. With advanced degrees in aerospace engineering and computer science, he drew on his professional background at NASA Langley Research Center and Duke University to develop a web application for the communication system now in use by the Village, connecting members and callers to the dispatch team and then via email to volunteers who perform services for the 740 SaddleBrooke members.

The Senior Village is continually adding new services and programs. Loendorf will speak on the ways in which the 175 Senior Village volunteers provide this support for members through various services and will explain their newest programs.

SaddleBrooke’s interest in wellness and support of the WIN has far surpassed our wildest expectations. We have had to move some of our meetings to the MountainView Ballroom. As the ballroom is constantly booked for SaddleBrooke events, the wellness meetings will take place on a variety of dates and times when the larger rooms are available. Members and interested visitors should watch for dates and information in the SaddleBrooke papers and other announcements. Be sure to come early to our seminars so you can get a seat!

The WIN is open to all SaddleBrooke residents. Come join our community of learners as we find out how to make our golden years even brighter. You can also contact Patricia Gould or Barbara Barr at winsbaz@gmail.com or call Barbara at 520-358-1111 or Patti at 808-281-9001.