Senator Lesser Welcomes Grants to Help Elderly Communities in Western Mass.

LONGMEADOW — Senator Eric P. Lesser welcomed the news this week that local programs to address social isolation and loneliness among older adults have received grants from Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc. Two organizations were chosen to receive $5,000 each in support of their work.

Glenmeadow Retirement Community in Longmeadow will receive funding for “Neighbor to Neighbor,” a friendly visitor program designed to reach isolated seniors in their homes. Volunteer recruitment, training and mentorship will be provided by community partners that include the Longmeadow Council on Aging, Temple Beth El, First Church of Christ of Longmeadow, and the Spiritual Care Department at Baystate Medical Center.

Valley Eye Radio will receive funding to upgrade its antiquated software and hardware to provide more programming for the visually impaired and expand to more people. Valley Eye Radio has a 39-year history of keeping older adults connected to the community by providing local news and information to listeners who cannot read independently due to physical impairments.

“These are important projects to reengage our seniors in our community, and I am so glad these local organizations have gotten the support they need to carry out this work. Everyone deserves the chance to retire with dignity and continue to be a valued member of our community,” said Sen. Lesser.

The projects are a result of focus groups and surveys that showed social isolation and loneliness were identified as a critical need by local seniors, according to Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc.

Funds for this initiative are provided through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Federal Administration for Community Living and Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc.

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News, Press ReleaseEric Lesser