Since our nonprofit organization’s founding, more than 30 years ago, we’ve been helping people age at home through our Grocery Assistance Service. As many know, our deliveries not only provide nourishment, but also a friendly check-in and help with the extras, whether that be opening jars or putting freezer items away.
Changes to our organization over this past year have indicated a new way of thinking about how we can help seniors embrace aging and live independently in their homes. Committed to ensuring the well-being of our clients, we expanded our offerings and refined our strategies — placing an emphasis on providing services that were often hard to come by and costly for those that we serve.
The addition of Home Support and Transportation Services to our offerings helps our clients remain healthy, active, and independent. Our Home Support Service is more than just repair work; it keeps your home or that of a loved one’s in good condition — whether that be by landscaping or changing smoke detectors. The same holds true for our Transportation Service. It is not just about making sure appointments are kept, but also gives our clients a way to venture out and stay connected with their communities.
Our new services, just like our Grocery Assistance, will continue to go the extra mile, providing a friendly hand to help our clients stay in their homes.
Karen Cotch, Executive Director
Need your gutters cleaned or your filters replaced? We’re hear to help! To meet the growing needs and fulfill our mission, we have expanded our offerings to include Home Support: interior and exterior maintenance services to help keep your home, or that of a loved one’s, safe and orderly.
Meet Mike Kingsley, a handy person who has contributed his home-repair expertise with Help At Your Door since this past May. He decided to give his time to others after helping his mother age in place.
“I was a caregiver for my own mother so that she could stay in her home as long as possible. And that’s what I think Help At Your Door’s main goal is – to help people stay in their homes,” Mike explains.
From washing windows to moving furniture, Mike has stepped up to give back to those who need it most. Volunteers often find that the time they donate is easily repaid by the relationships and memories created—as well as knowing that they have made a difference in someone’s life.
Nearly 25% of the clients we serve have income levels below poverty, making our services critical to Minnesota’s aging population. Clients can receive help at home for an affordable cost with all proceeds going to support our nonprofit mission and to assist those who need a little extra help remaining in their homes.
After joining Help At Your Door’s volunteer community (more than 500 strong!), Mike realized the value of the services. He remarks, “We have talented people handy. We are donating our time so that they can get something done that they probably couldn’t find anyone else to do. And if they did find them, it would cost them a lot of money. I would like more people to know that our services are available at a reasonable cost to the client and that the volunteers doing it have the clients’ best interests at heart.”
Help At Your Door volunteers, Bill Driscoll and Shirley Shimota, raked leaves for some seniors in our community this fall.
We rely on our volunteers every day as we serve seniors and individuals with disabilities in our Twin Cities community.
With our expanded services, comes additional ways for our volunteers to get involved. From preparing occasional meals, to painting projects and changing light bulbs, volunteers can contribute in a variety of ways.
Here are a few new ways that Help At Your Door volunteers can get involved:
If you enjoy cooking or baking for others, or helping out with a few light household chores like cleaning and organization, our Homemaker Role might be a good fit for you. This volunteer opportunity will allow you to build personal relationships while fulfilling needs in the homes of clients.
Help out with light projects like: interior and exterior painting, hanging pictures, changing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries, and more.
Help clients who lack transportation to get back and forth safely from their appointments or errands.
Ride with a Help At Your Door delivery person and assist with unloading and unpacking client grocery orders into their kitchens.
Any questions about Help At Your Door volunteer opportunities? Contact Carolyn Swenson, volunteer manager, at 651-209-1856.
Driver Jim Foley takes a moment to pose for a picture before hitting the road to deliver groceries.
One grocery delivery driver’s gut instinct and training saves the life of an elderly woman.
What seemed like a routine, blustery, Monday morning for Help At Your Door’s, Store To Door grocery delivery driver, Jim Foley, quickly turned into a life-saving experience.
As Foley knocked on 85-year-old client, Elaine’s door, he found that she wasn’t answering to receive her groceries at the agreed upon time. Foley knew that Elaine is home-bound and hard of hearing. After repeated knocking and calls to her home, he spoke with the neighbor who said that she was concerned as Elaine’s paper hadn’t been picked up all weekend and no lights had been on in the home.
Foley rapidly became alarmed and called a Help At Your Door co-worker, Teckla Johnson, senior services director, to explain the circumstances and ask her to investigate further. Johnson describes what happened then, “Calls to the family didn’t help, as they either weren’t home or didn’t know anything about the situation. As it became more suspicious, I called the police to do a non-emergency well check and after assessing the situation, the police decided to enter the home.”
The police found that the elderly woman had fallen down the stairs and had been there for two days. Johnson states, “I can’t image what was going through her head as she lay there and listened to Jim’s knocks, hoping that somebody would discover her.”
Elaine was very weak, but was responsive and was immediately taken to the hospital.
Because of the heroic actions of Jim, Teckla and the caring neighbor, Elaine survived her harrowing experience and is recovering in the hospital.
This holiday and winter season, look out for your elderly loved ones and neighbors. Every 11 seconds an older adult visits the emergency room from a fall. Here are easy ways to prevent falls around the home and your neighborhood:
- Make sure railings are installed on all stairs.
- Remove things on the floor that you can trip over, including small throw rugs.
- Have grab bars next to the tub or toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the tub or shower.
- Make sure lighting is working and bright enough in all rooms.
- Wear shoes inside your home, not slippers.
- Keep sidewalks clear of all ice and snow.
If you have any suspicion that something isn’t right with your neighbors who have disabilities or are elderly, don’t hesitate to notify the police for a well check. You might just save someone’s life.
If you know elderly or disabled individuals who could use some extra help around the home to make it safer, please call Help At Your Door at 651-642-1892.
Welcome to Help At Your Door’s website. We are a non-profit agency that helps seniors and people with disabilities remain in their own homes. Our job is to provide you with the services and resources necessary to help you remain vivacious and supported in life, while also providing your family with the knowledge and security to ensure that your home is the best place for you to be.
Our services are for those needing some practical assistance with tasks to stay comfortable at home. Our services are ideal for:
- Older adults who need help with a number of little things
- Those recovering from hospital stays
- Individuals with sensory or mobility impairment
- Elderly and people with disabilities who want to stay at home
When you choose Help At Your Door’s services, you receive a team who will help meet your individual needs with an increasing array of services to help you stay in your home.
We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we are currently under construction. Our new site will feature our expanded services, including handyman, transportation and companion and home care services. Check back in January for further information!
In the meantime, if you need immediate assistance, please contact 651.209.1855 and a friendly Help At Your Door staff member will be happy to assist you. Or, visit our current website: www.storetodoor.org