Bob LaPointe has always been good with numbers. He built a rewarding career with those skills, but these days he uses them to make a difference in the community.
LaPointe, who retired in 2017, helps older adults maintain independence through the Money Management program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES). For roughly 15 hours each month, he reconciles financial records, ensuring that vital bills are paid for people receiving assistance through the program. LaPointe said it’s a good way to stay involved.
“I feel there’s a need to support older adults locally, and also an opportunity to learn from their knowledge,” he said.
LaPointe is one of four office volunteers who provide administrative support for SCES Money Management, helping the small program serve more than 80 local older adults. Their contributions are essential, explained SCES Volunteer Manager Jeremy Bratt.
“Money Management is a fantastic program, but any time you are dealing with people’s money there’s a great deal of administrative and procedural safeguards,” said Bratt. “Volunteers like Bob free-up our limited staff time and help us offer this service to more people in our community.”
All told, more than 330 volunteers work with SCES. More than 70 of them are older adults. Recognizing their contributions is the focal point of SCES observing Older Americans Month this May.
Now in its 60th year, Older Americans Month is a time to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of older Americans, highlight important trends, and strengthen our commitment to honoring our older citizens.
Organized by the Administration for Community Living, the theme for Older Americans Month 2023 is “Aging Unbound” an opportunity to explore a wide range of aging experiences and to promote the importance of enjoying independence and fulfillment by paving our own paths as we age.
The Administration for Community Living suggests the following ways to get involved with Older Americans Month and throughout the year:
- Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, and push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy, and energy.
- Explore the rewards of growing older. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Continue to grow that knowledge through reading, listening, classes, and creative activities.
- Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. Stay active by volunteering, working, mentoring, participating in social clubs, and taking part in activities at your local senior center or elsewhere in the community.
- Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends, and community members.
SCES offers many opportunities to get involved locally through volunteerism. In addition to Money Management, our volunteers help older adults commute to doctor appointments as Medical Escorts, deliver extra food through our Community Supplemental Food Program, and more.