Senior Village at SaddleBrooke – Neighbors helping Neighbors

Judy Cummings

Chrissy Miotke is ready and waiting to hear the knock on her door announcing the arrival of her card-playing opponent. Each week, a Senior Village volunteer comes to Chrissy’s house to compete in whatever card game Chrissy has chosen for that day. Word on the street is that Chrissy is pretty darn good, so volunteers come prepared, especially when she wants to play her favorite game – UNO. It’s a contest of high energy, determined minds and a lot of fun.

When you first meet Chrissy Miotke, you are immediately impressed by her beautiful smile and her joy in being with people. She is an original “people person” who loves music, dancing, Jazzercise, taking her evening walk and doing puzzles. Chrissy proudly displays her framed Elvis puzzle which occupies a place of honor in her home.

Chrissy moved here from Michigan, where she had been a homemaker and raised three children. While living in Michigan, she often visited her daughter, Carol, a resident of SaddleBrooke. During these visits, Chrissy fell in love with the desert, the sun and the lack of snow (at least any that had to be shoveled!) and in 2009 she moved to SaddleBrooke.

Although Chrissy has some memory problems, she is able to live independently and loves to be active. She has no TV or computer, so socializing is a very important part of her daily life. Carol knew that her mom needed to stay engaged in the community and be with other people. When she heard about Senior Village’s “neighbors helping neighbors” programs and found out that volunteers on the Friendly Contact team make home visits that include chatting, playing games or going for walks to provide social interaction for members, she knew it was a perfect fit for Chrissy.

Chrissy has been a Senior Village member now for two years and when you ask her what she likes most about the Village, she states that it “keeps me busy.” She says she wakes up with something to do and she loves that.

As Chrissy’s primary caregiver, Carol remarks that it gives her “peace of mind” to know a Village volunteer will show up at the appointed time and her mom has activities she enjoys. Carol appreciates that the volunteers are always friendly, prompt and bring a variety of people into her mom’s life. She believes Friendly Contact has definitely enhanced the quality of her mom’s life.

Chrissy and Carol encourage others to reach out to the Village. Social connections are an important component of realizing the joy that comes from being a part of a community. And Chrissy Miotke is truly a joyful person!

The Senior Village Friendly Contact team also sponsors monthly birthday lunches for members, Bingo, a book club, a new Game Day and (except for June-August) bocce and putters groups. If you would like more information or to become a member, patron or volunteer, call Senior Village at 520-314-1042.