Y OPAS empowers seniors to live independently - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Y OPAS empowers seniors to live independently

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 12:00 am

Senior citizens challenge perceptions of the golden years as they embrace more active lifestyles, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need help from time to time.

While many wish to live independently for as long as possible in their own homes, they need a little help periodically – a ride to the doctor, someone to change a light bulb in a high ceiling.

Y OPAS connects Ahwatukee Foothills seniors to people who want to lend a hand.

Since 2001, Y OPAS (Outreach Programs for Ahwatukee Seniors) has provided free services to seniors aged 62 and better. Supported by the YMCA, the organization serves as a hub for volunteers across all walks of life. Volunteers can work as frequently (or periodically) as they choose. Services offered include transportation, friendly visits and phone calls, caregiver relief, light household assistance and personal business support.

Back in 2001, OPAS’ original concept sprung from a grassroots effort at Mountain View Lutheran Church. Ahwatukee Foothills resident – and Great Britain import – Maureen Davies was recently retired and in search of some way to serve others. She read about the program in the Ahwatukee Foothills News and signed on.

She hasn’t stopped logging miles.

“I didn’t live near my own parents, and since I couldn’t help them, I chose to serve where I could,” she said. Davies has stayed busy, driving seniors to doctor appointments and also working in the office every week. She can still be found at the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA on Tuesday afternoons.

“Volunteering gives my life purpose. I like that I can be myself. You don’t have to have a specific religious affiliation or professional experience to volunteer here. At Y OPAS, we just focus on the work we’re doing. We don’t concern ourselves with image, or whether we’re making a big splash in the community.” she said.

There are unexpected benefits for volunteers and clients, as relationships develop. For the past couple of years, Davies and another volunteer have taken turns driving Judy Stephens to her dialysis appointments each week. Teasing each other warmly in Stephens’ tidy Ahwatukee Foothills home, it is clear the two enjoy a comfortable friendship.

Stephens, a wife and grandmother of 13, was introduced to Y OPAS a few years ago when she began to receive dialysis. Her husband still worked full time, so she needed reliable transportation to the dialysis center three times each week. Y OPAS “has been so faithful,” she said.

The program allows seniors to use its services twice each week and is considering expanding those options.

“I just don’t know what I would do without them. Maureen always calls to remind me what time she’s going to pick me up. She’s always on time, so I don’t ever have to worry,” Stephens said with a smile.

Executive Director Judy Lewisohn said: “In 2009, Y OPAS undertook more than 2,400 assignments assisting local seniors. We would not have been able to do this without our dedicated volunteers. We offer flexible options, shaped by the availability of each volunteer. Some just take one assignment a month, and others serve several times a week.”

For more information about Y OPAS, contact the office at (602) 212-6088.

 

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Diane Meehl is a mother of three, a freelance writer and volunteer. Reach her at dianemeehl@cox.net.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

This week at progressive state blogs: OK's Pruitt now America's problem; guns may go anywhere in MO

Rob Schofield at The Progressive Pulse of North Carolina writes—Revenge of the robber barons continues: Trump’s disastrous “anti-family, anti-…

Published: December 11, 2016 - 3:22 am @ http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/10/1609381/-…

Thousands of people show support for kids hospitalized during the holidays in Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ - About 2,000 people showed their support Saturday night for children battling an illness and are stuck at the hospital for the ho…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 10:46 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

On Kirk Douglas's 100th Birthday, Remembering His 1990 Visit to the Mexican Border

This is a tribute to Kirk Douglas. It has only a tangential connection to immigration. I'll explain that at the end. The world knows Douglas f…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 10:19 pm @ http://cis.org/kammer/kirk-douglass-100th-birthday…

Crews battling brush fire in Cochise County

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Firefighters are responding to a brush fire south of Sierra Vista, according to Coronado National Fores…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 9:38 pm @ http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/34024021/crews-…

NOW: Multiple people injured after multi-car accident in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Officials are investigating a crash involving multiple cars in Phoenix. Fire crews were called to 95th Avenue and McDowell Road Satu…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 8:45 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/wes…

Desert Botanical Garden

An exciting and diverse lineup of the best musical entertainment Arizona has to offer. Learn More Enjoy a Southwest Mexican-American menu, pre…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 8:37 pm @ https://www.dbg.org/

Hairspray Live! is event television at its sloppy finest

The nonsensical but utterly magical trend of major broadcast networks producing expensive and messy live musicals continued last night with NB…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 8:37 pm @ http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/8/13882382/hairspr…

Phoenix-area 12-year-old transgender child shares transition story

In an exclusive interview with 12 News, a Valley 12-year-old opened up about a very personal situation: He was born transgender, and now he’s …

Published: December 10, 2016 - 8:15 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/phoenix-ar…

Can A STEM Program Help Make Boy Scouts Relevant Again?

Michael Jurkowitz is a fifth grader in Tucson, Arizona. He—like most other kids his age—enjoys hands-on projects well enough, but probably isn…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 8:07 pm @ https://www.fastcompany.com/3066163/innovation-age…

Churches Vow to Offer Sanctuary to People in US Illegally

Hundreds of houses of worship are offering sanctuary to people who could face deportation if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on h…

Published: December 10, 2016 - 7:48 pm @ http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/churches-vo…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…