YUMA, Ariz.- “Gut-retching …sorry….they’re vulnerable and they become victims, I don’t want them to be victims ,” says Judy Arnold, Executive Director of ‘Helping Hands’-Greater Foothills.
According to the NCOA or National Council of Aging, 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or over have experienced some form of elder abuse.
But it’s not just physical; neglect or abandonment by their children, spouses or nursing homes is why ‘Helping Hands’ in the Greater Foothills is here to help.
“My mother was the founder and she and I saw the program in Phoenix, and this was over 20 years ago”, explains Judy Arnold.
The non-profit organization doesn’t ask its care receivers for any personal or financial information and provides a wide range of daily services for its community seniors.
Arnold says, “Transportation, we also provide minor home repair and handy-man services. Then we have friendly phoning, friendly visiting, we do a lot errand running. We take people grocery shopping or we go for them.”
And with 150 of those volunteers serving over 800 people in our community, it takes a very organized person to help accommodate these clients.
“I absolutely love what I do; I cannot have a better job. Whenever a care receivers call in, if they want a ride to the doctor office. So then I start calling volunteers and I get a volunteer to come in and take our care receiver wherever they need to go,” says J.L., Services Coordinator of “Helping Hands’ -Greater Foothills.
One such care receiver says he wouldn’t be able to survive if it wasn’t for Helping Hands.
“I wouldn’t be able to eat or do anything without ‘Helping Hands’. Shirley takes me to the market, drug store whatever I need,” says Wally Armbruster, Care Receiver of ‘Helping Hands’ -Greater Foothills.
His volunteer care provider Shirley Hetterbik adds, “Its an honor. It’s a chance for me to give back to people in the community.”
Even with all of this, Judy says we as a generation need to learn to respect our elders again, learn from them, and assure them they’ll have the support they deserve.
Judy concludes, “If our seniors need a professional business to come in like we do, they can trust who’s coming through that door.”