MSAC at Home
MSAC has a new program called MSAC at Home, where volunteers assist older adults with tasks that allow them to age in their home and community. According to the CDC, a quarter of adults 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. Ultimately, long-term social isolation leads to damaging health effects, such as increased risk of depression, dementia, and stroke. MSAC at Home grew in response to two factors: 1) assisting older adults with tasks increases comfort and feelings of pride in their homes, and 2) these task requests, from dusting to raking leaves, offer an amazing socialization opportunity for Montpelier’s older adults.
Although 20 minutes of dusting, an hour of raking leaves, or technology problem diagnosis may not sound glamorous, that time fosters that critical connection with our community, and with each other. It reduces acute feelings of social isolation common to older adults.
We embarked on a project that ultimately highlights our interconnectedness and capacity for reciprocity with one another. We hope that you will join us!
We have two volunteer shifts, Tuesdays from 10-1 and Thursdays from 10-1. Volunteers help older adults with a variety of tasks. It could be light cleaning (dusting, organizing, recycling, basic handyman services), outdoor chores (snow shoveling, raking leaves, stacking wood), or technology assistance. Every shift will include something different, and there is an opportunity to learn some new skills. We will train volunteers in any skills or tasks they are not comfortable performing.
*We are adhering to strict Covid policies around masking and handwashing at MSAC. Older adults who made requests will be required to wear masks as well.
If you’re interested in volunteering, call 802-262-6287 or email email@example.com
MSAC at Home Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What services does MSAC at Home currently offer?
A: At this time, the following services are offered:
- Outdoor chore assistance (e.g., raking, wood stacking, light garden assistance, yard cleanup, etc.);
- Indoor task assistance, including air conditioner installation, changing screen/storm windows, changing smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs, lifting or moving heavy items (within the same household), taking out the trash and recycling;
- Walking buddies;
Q: How much does MSAC at Home cost?
A: Under the pilot phase, all MSAC at Home services are offered by donation. While there is no charge for the services, donations are gratefully accepted.
Q: Who is eligible to receive MSAC at Home services?
A: Anyone age 50+ who is a resident of Montpelier or a supporting town (Berlin, Calais, East Montpelier, Middlesex, Moretown, Worcester). Exceptions: During the current pilot phase, home-based services (e.g., outdoor chore assistance) are limited to Montpelier residents only.
Q: How do I request MSAC at Home services?
A: Contact MSAC's Aging in Place Coordinator Maddie Sholar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-262-6287 to discuss your request for services.
Q: How are the services offered?
A: Vetted and trained volunteers fulfill all MSAC at Home requests. MSAC's Aging in Place Coordinator Maddie Sholar also assists.
Q: How can I volunteer with MSAC at Home?
A: Please contact MSAC's Aging in Place Coordinator Maddie Sholar at email@example.com or 802-262-6287. Volunteers are the heart and soul of MSAC at Home and we greatly appreciate any amount of time you can provide for this important service. Our Volunteer Application is here.
Q: Are there plans for additional services to be offered through MSAC at Home?
A: Yes, we hope to expand services to include handyperson assistance, technology device lending and training, referrals to screened tradespeople, connecting activity buddies, and more, depending on community buy-in and volunteer engagement.
Q: Why are certain MSAC at Home services limited to Montpelier residents?
A: MSAC at Home is a new and evolving initiative. We are limiting home-based services to Montpelier residents as we strive to build up our volunteer base and learn from our experience. We hope to expand all MSAC at Home offerings to all of our supporting towns in the future, based on volunteer recruitment and engagement.
Q: Do I need to own a home to receive MSAC at Home services?
A: No, MSAC at Home services are offered to individuals regardless of if they own, rent, or have any other living arrangement for their house, apartment, or condo.
Q: Do I need to be a member of MSAC to receive services?
A: While not a requirement to receive the current services being offered, we encourage you to consider becoming a member in order to directly support all the valuable offerings MSAC provides. Additionally, some services, such as the technology device lending program, may be limited to members only. More information on member benefits can be found here.
Q: How do you verify volunteers?
A: All volunteers have successfully passed background checks, signed confidentiality statements, had their references checked, and oriented to the work they will be performing prior to being accepted as an MSAC at Home volunteer.
Q: How do I donate to this service?
A: Mail a check (made out to MSAC) to 58 Barre Street in Montpelier or drop-off payment to MSAC by using the drop box in the side entrance of the building.
Have other questions or want to get involved with MSAC at Home? Contact Aging in Place Coordinator Maddie Sholar at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-262-6287.
Want More Background Information?
Additionally, you may view the below video recording of the December 2020 community presentation that was given by Montpelier Village Work Group members Andrea Stander, Erica Garfin, Jeanne Kern, Mike Harris, and Polly Nichol, in addition to MSAC team members Janna Clar and Andrew Gribbin.
Note: If you prefer to skip to specific sections of the video, please use the following video time markers to do so:
0:00 to 9:02 - Welcome and Introduction
9:03 to 19:49 - Village Model Background
19:50 to 33:16 - MSAC and the Village
33:17 to 42:24 - Initial Steps Taken
42:25 to End - Questions and Answers