Council on Aging adds Caring Partners to aid programs

Island Doctors to support COA’s Sunshine Center; Endless Summer Realty to assist Meals on Wheels

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Island Doctors, a medical group with locations throughout St. Johns County, has renewed its commitment to support older adults in the community as a Caring Partner to Council on Aging.

Caring Partner sponsors provide important financial resources and community outreach in support of specific COA programs. 

This year, Island Doctors has once again committed to be the Caring Partner for COA’s Sunshine Center, an adult day health care program in St. Augustine which serves adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The center provides participants with a safe and secured environment, socialization, skilled care, nutritious meals, exercise and engaging activities and therapies. In addition to these services, the center provides an invaluable respite for caregivers. 

Island Doctors’ partnership comes at a critical time. Due to COVID-19 concerns, seniors and caregivers are struggling with increased isolation and loneliness which are serious threats to their physical health and mental wellbeing. Since the pandemic required the temporary closure of COA’s senior centers and Sunshine Center, COA has devoted resources to creating and providing new ways for seniors and caregivers to receive the critical supports they need. These new online and phone support programs include engaging at-home group classes, activities and caregiver support programs.

“We are very happy to serve as Caring Partner to the Sunshine Center,” said Dr. Roy H. Hinman, president of Island Doctors. “We are proud to support the important work they do.”

Dementia presents serious challenges for both those who suffer from the disease and their caregivers.  For those diagnosed with the illness, confusion, frustration and isolation can compound their suffering.  For caregivers, the needs for supervision and care are intense and constant, and watching a loved one recede mentally and emotionally can be heartbreaking. 

“The Sunshine Center is critically important to the health and well-being of our community’s elders and their caregivers,” said COA’s Executive Director Becky Yanni. “We are extremely grateful to have Island Doctors as partners in our mission to be there for those seniors and caregivers who need our help most.”

To learn more about COA’s Sunshine Center and caregiver support programs, visit COA’s website at www.coasjc.org, or contact Paulette Kozlowski at (904) 209-3674 or pkozlowki@coasjc.org.

Endless Summer Realty joins COA as Caring Partner for Meals on Wheels

Endless Summer Realty, a real estate firm in St. Johns County, has renewed its commitment to being there for older adults in the community as a Caring Partner to Council on Aging.

This year, Endless Summer Realty has committed to being COA’s Caring Partner for its Meals on Wheels program. The program delivers nutritious meals and welcome visits to homebound elders throughout St. Johns County. 

The partnership comes at a critical time. Due to COVID-19 concerns, seniors in
St. Johns County are in need of COA’s support now more than ever. Since the required temporary closure of COA’s senior centers in March, the Meals on Wheels program has also been delivering meals to senior center participants. The program prepares and delivers approximately 2,800 meals per week to area seniors, an increase of 1,200 meals per week since the pandemic began.

“We are grateful for the role that COA plays in our community caring for those who are most vulnerable,” said Brad Layland, owner of Endless Summer Realty.  “We are especially committed to the Meals on Wheels program, as several of our Realtors volunteer to deliver meals to seniors each week.”

Belinda Raven is one of the Realtors from Endless Summer Realty who volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program.  She has been delivering meals to homebound seniors on a regular route for the past several years.

“Serving this community I love gives me great joy,” she shared when asked why she volunteers for COA. “I have been very blessed and want my children and grandchildren to see that giving is much more rewarding than receiving.  God is good all the time.”

“The Meals on Wheels program is critically important to the health and wellbeing of our community’s elders,” said COA’s Executive Director, Becky Yanni. “We are extremely grateful to have the team at Endless Summer Realty as partners in our mission to be there for those who have spent lifetimes being there for us.”

As Caring Partners, the Endless Summer Realty team will also participate in this year’s Champions for Elders golf tournament, COA’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The event will take place on Monday, Aug. 10 at Slammer & Squire, World Golf Village in St. Augustine.

As a nonprofit organization, COA relies upon the generosity of members of the community to support programs and services to help older adults and their caregivers. 

For information on how individuals, businesses and community organizations can join COA as Caring Partners, Elder Guard sponsors and playing teams, please visit the event website at www.bit.ly/championsforelders or contact Sandy Hollett at (904) 209-3697 or shollett@coasjc.org. Sponsors are critical to Council on Aging’s work for seniors, and there are sponsorship levels available to suit any budget. 

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