Ann Moon can still take care of herself pretty well, but at almost 78-years-old, she realizes she can only do so much.
“I can do things, but it takes me forever to do them because I do a little bit and then I have to sit down,” she said.
Moon detests the idea of going into assisted living, or worse a nursing home, after watching her late husband's experience there.
“I really felt that he lost his dignity, and I don't want that to happen to me,” Moon said.
Dignity is what Joan Dow delivers. She volunteers with a group called Bellingham at Home. They do housework, shopping, provide transportation and social experiences for seniors.
This week, Dow is weeding Moon's backyard.
“I've had a lifelong concern about older people being kind of abandoned as they get older,” said Dow. “I don’t want them getting thrown on the trash heap.”
In just six weeks since Bellingham at Home opened its doors, it has been overwhelmed with requests for help. More than 100 seniors have already signed up. There are only about half as many volunteers.
Bellingham at Home would like to add 20 or 30 more volunteers as soon as possible so folks like Moon can remain in their homes as long as possible.
Dow hopes the program will mature and be around for many years to come.
“As long as I'm able to do this I'm going to do this,” Dow said. “Then it will be my turn to ask for help.”
Bellingham at Home is a non-profit but charges its members $350 per year to pay for organizational costs. View more information about Bellingham at Home here.