Summer Sunshine for Seniors: How You Can Make a Difference

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Summer brings sunshine, cookouts and backyard fun. But for some older adults in our community, these joyful months can feel isolating. With longer days and potentially increased heat, staying cool and connected can be a challenge.

Here at CICOA, we’re dedicated to helping Central Indiana seniors and people with disabilities live safely and comfortably at home. This summer, we want to inspire our community to show some extra love to our older neighbors!

Shining a Light on Loneliness

Did you know that loneliness can be just as harmful to health as smoking? Social connection is essential for everyone, but especially for seniors who may live alone or have limited mobility. Here’s how you can be a ray of sunshine:

Become a Senior Buddy: Make a senior’s day with a friendly phone call or visit! A simple conversation can brighten their mood and let them know they’re not alone. Senior Buddies can also lend a hand by accompanying them to appointments or on errands. Bonus: Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make new friends yourself!


Sharing the Bounty of Summer

Fresh fruits and veggies are a delicious and healthy way to beat the heat and stay hydrated. Unfortunately, for some seniors, food insecurity is a year-round issue. Our Produce for Better Health program provides boxes of fresh produce for local seniors. Here’s how you can get involved:

Assist with Produce Distribution: Help us hand out boxes of fresh produce at our meal sites twice a month. You can also assist with basic health screenings, like checking weight and blood pressure. No medical experience is needed!


Pet Pals for Seniors

For many older adults, their furry friends are family. But keeping their pets fed and happy can be a challenge. Our Pet Connect program delivers pet food and supplies directly to homebound seniors. Here’s how you can lend a paw:

Become a Pet Connect Volunteer: Pick up pet food and supplies from our partner pantries and deliver them to seniors who can’t get out. It’s a great way to make a furry friend’s day!


Spreading Summer Cheer Beyond CICOA

While CICOA is here to help, there are many ways you can support senior relatives and neighbors directly:

  • Host a Block Party: Invite your senior neighbors to a backyard barbecue! Or bring a plate of their favorite dish to their doorstep. Sharing a meal is a great way to connect and create warm memories.
  • Share Recipes: Ask your loved one for their favorite potluck recipe and make a batch to share. You may uncover a new dish to love while they reconnect with the cherished flavors of their past.
  • Lend a Helping Hand: Offer to help your neighbor with outdoor chores like cleaning the porch. If you’re skilled at DIY work, you could help them install handrails so they can enjoy the great outdoors safely from their own front steps.
  • Beat the Heat: Check in with them regularly, especially during hot days. See if they need an extra fan or window air conditioner unit. CICOA’s annual Cool Aid program provides window A/C units to clients most in need. Many thanks to our 2024 Cool Aid program sponsor, Mission Mechanical, for installing those units this month!
  • Be a Neighborhood Chauffeur: Does your neighbor need a ride to the doctor or grocery store? Offer to be their personal driver for the day. It’s a simple act of kindness that can be a big help.
  • Start a Club: Perhaps you have some shared interests, such as reading, painting or fishing. Spending time together enjoying an activity can help your loved one or neighbor feel included and connected in their community.

Every Little Bit Makes a Big Difference

No matter your age or ability, there’s something for everyone in supporting our senior community. Even young children can get involved by hosting a lemonade stand, bake sale or garage sale to raise funds for CICOA. Whether you volunteer your time, share a meal or simply lend a helping hand, your kindness can make a world of difference in someone’s life this summer.

Let’s work together to make sure every senior in our community feels connected, supported and full of summer joy!


Be a Ray of Sunshine for Seniors

CICOA President and CEO Tauhric Brown
Tauhric Brown

As President and CEO, Tauhric Brown uses his strategic vision and experience in the elderly and disability service industry to expand CICOA services and collaborative partnerships to better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. Before joining CICOA, Brown served as the chief operating officer for Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich. His career started in the U.S. Army, and then he became a successful owner/operator for a multi-carrier wireless retail company. Inspired by his family and upbringing, he made the switch to the nonprofit world to fulfill his dream of improving the lives of others.

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