Opinion: Del Mar’s In-Home Connections takes community, caring to next level
By Mark Kalina, MD/Del Mar
Here in Del Mar, we are blessed to live in the midst of a multitude of wonders. Our town offers spectacular natural beauty combined with weather that allows us to be out in that beauty 365 days a year. In addition, the people inhabiting our town are an amazing combination of bright and interesting and also warm and kind. Further, we have incredible restaurants and endless opportunities for fun, social connection and stimulating conversation. I don’t know anyone who lives in Del Mar who is not deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this community.
Del Mar does not just offer this incredible lifestyle to the young, athletic and strong. Our town is a place where people can live independently, joyfully, and supported by their community all the way to the very end of life. Many people’s greatest fear is that as they age, they will lose their ability to live independently and retain a quality of life that they enjoyed in their youth. Del Mar is blessed to have a support system in place so that seniors and the disabled can “age in place” and continue to enjoy the magic of this area for all of their days.
How is this possible? How can we be so lucky? Del Mar Community Connections (DMCC) provides the foundation for these dreams to become reality. DMCC has been promoting independence, enhancing socialization, and offering a wide variety of services and activities for our senior residents for over 10 years. The organization and its superstar representative who makes it all happen, Heather Glenn, quietly support the amazing beauty of our area with an equally amazing variety of activities and services. The list of opportunities and modes of support are true examples of what makes for a very rich community.
Beginning with the New Year, DMCC is expanding its range and support even further. The new In-Home Connections (IHC) program will reach out to individuals who are more home-bound and restricted in their lives. The new program will offer an in-home assessment, a personal care coordinator, and trusted referrals to a variety of services that can promote and support independence. In addition, there will be meal delivery opportunities, friendly social visits by kind, attentive volunteers, grocery shopping assistance, help with trash and recycling, and other general support based on the individual’s needs.
This dream program (created and designed by future DM councilman Terry Sinott) will be available for only $50 per month. The support and connection that IHC will offer is truly what community is all about. Children and loved-ones of these seniors will be overjoyed to feel the support and connection that this program will bring. A team of volunteers will be led by new DMCC employee, Jeannie Walsh, a woman with a big heart and a great mission. This service program will allow residents to “age in place” with love, support and safety. Volunteers will be giving their time and energy and in return they will be rewarded with being a part of a great team, devoted to a great project. “Win-win” is the motto and the reality.
In this crazy, fast-paced world, Del Mar continues to be a very special place with “old-time” values and priorities. Our residents can stay in their homes rather than needing to re-locate to special facilities. Home is where the heart is and thanks to In-Home Connections and its great team of volunteers, our seniors can stay home in our magical town with peace of mind.
Please call Jeannie at (858)792-7565 for more information about enrolling in this wonderful program or to become a volunteer. Be a part of this very special community-building project.
Dr. Kalina has a private practice in Del Mar and is on the board of DMCC.
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