As 2014 unwinds, we begin to look to a new year.  But, before we end this one, here are some things Community Caregivers is grateful for:

— 1. Our staff who make the volunteer-client connection;

— 2. The over 200 volunteers who provide direct service and those who help in the office, serve on committees and on the board of directors;

— 3. The 105 businesses and people who made donations to the Gala fundraiser;

— 4. The 88 businesses and people who made donations to the golf tournament;

— 5. The ability to help people in our community who need us to take them to the doctors, help with grocery shopping, provide a human connection by phone or a friendly visit, pick up prescriptions.. — things a neighbor could do for a neighbor;

— 6. The 18 businesses that sponsored our events. Would your business like to join that group?

— 7. People who make donations, great and small, to Community Caregivers;

— 8. People who celebrate their loved ones by sending a donation "in honor of" or celebrate a birthday or just to help Community Caregivers; we are a not-for-profit;

— 9. The Guilderland and Bethlehem libraries for providing space for events;

— 10. Christ the King for providing space for Memory Loss meetings; and

— 11. The Altamont Enterprise for providing space for this column.

This list isn't exhaustive.

For the new year, Community Caregivers’ wish is to serve our community by providing our services to those who need us.

Our other wish is to increase the number of volunteers to do that . We serve all ages and there is no charge.

If you're interested in being part of the organization call us at 456-2898. Orientation schedules for January will be posted on our website and Facebook page within the week.

Add Community Caregivers to your "to do" list for 2015: volunteer, donate, call for help. Our website, www.communitycaregivers.org, provides information on our services and opportunities for volunteers.  Happy holidays!

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As Community Caregivers celebrates its 20 years of helping folks remain independent, helping them stay in their homes and in their communities, it's important to say thanks to all the volunteers wh

While Community Caregivers focuses always on the needs of our clients and volunteers, we sometimes take a step back and recognize community members for their volunteerism and giving natures. 

One of the more exciting events we’re holding to help commemorate Community Caregivers’ 20th anniversary is a drawing for a very special one-of-a-kind gold pendant that is made in the form of CC’s logo.

The pendant, which is 14K gold, was handmade by Cindy Crounse, a local jeweler, and comes complete with an 18-inch gold chain. Tickets for the drawing will be available by Aug. 1 and will be $10 each or three for $25.  You may stop by the office to purchase tickets, or mail in a check and we will send you your stubs.               

The drawing will be held at the end of the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Day” reception.  The reception will be at the Crossgates Mall food court on Friday, Sept. 26.  The reception will begin at 1 p.m. and we will hold the drawing at 2 p.m.

We would like to encourage people to register as a volunteer for this day of helping, which is another part of the celebration of CC’s 20th year of serving the community.

All proceeds from the drawing will go to help support CC’s ongoing programs.  If you’d like further information on the drawing or on being a volunteer, please call the office at 456-2898.  Or check out the website at http://www.communitycaregivers.org.

We thank everyone in advance for helping CC make it to this amazing anniversary and for your ongoing support. So, who is going to go home with some very cool new jewelry?

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According to the Journal on Housing for the Elderly, some 70 percent of seniors spend the rest of their life in the place where they celebrated their 65th birthday.

Federal, state, and local governments have recognized for years that the senior population will be expanding and needing more services. More recently, they have realized the economic repercussions for our communities of both the cost of nursing homes and the decrease in the tax base when seniors leave their homes.

Community Caregivers was recently awarded two significant grants, as well as some smaller ones, to continue bringing non-medical caregiving services to seniors and disabled people trying to stay in their homes.

For the second year in a row, Community Caregivers has been awarded a New York State Department of Health grant for $100,000 to continue bringing non-medical caregiving services to residents of both Albany and the Altamont/Hilltowns areas. 

This $100,000 grant is a continuation of the Department of Health grant that Caregivers was awarded last year for a project created to help older people in the community stay in their homes and avoid nursing-home admissions or readmissions.

Things as simple as help to the grocery store or doctors’ appointments and a reassurance phone call are often times what can keep a senior independent longer.

Additionally, The William Gundry Broughton Foundation awarded Community Caregivers a $10,000 grant to continue to expand and cover current services.  The Broughton Foundation has awarded grants to Caregivers in the past, and also recognizes the needs of seniors in Albany. 

Smaller grants were also received from local donors — The Swyer Foundation and Hannay Reels.

In Albany County, the population over age 65 is approximately 60,000, with over 18,000 seniors owning their own homes. There are 20,000 people with disabilities over age 60 in Albany County, according to the Capital District Regional Planning Council. 

The Community Caregivers service area includes the towns of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Berne, Knox, and New Scotland, but has also increased to Voorheesville, and has seen demand from the city of Albany as well.

In 2013, Community Caregivers provided 4,114 client services to almost 400 clients, using the skills of the 230 volunteers.  Services include friendly visits, transportation, help with chores, help with shopping, and more. Community Caregivers has been in existence for 20 years, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Editor’s note: Kathy Burbank is the executive director of Community Caregivers.

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