Aging With Dignity
Aging can be an unpredictable process.
Medical needs, general health, finances and network of support are all concerns as a person grows older. Seabury Resources for Aging has worked to address the spectrum of needs for seniors in the greater Washington, DC area since 1924.
“We try to be an informational source for people,” said Kate Lewis, Seabury’s Chief Advancement Officer. “People are looking for different things.”
Seabury began as the Episcopal Church Home in 1924 with the donation of a single-family home for use by seniors in the community. More home donations followed, as well as the development of the Friendship Terrace Retirement Community, which can accommodate nearly 200 residents.
In the mid-1990s, the organization began to focus on services, recognizing many seniors’ desire to stay in their own homes as long as possible. In 2010, the organization rebranded itself as Seabury Resources for Aging, reflecting the group’s growth and open welcome to seniors seeking assistance.
“Because our services are free or affordable, we serve a lot of folks of modest income,” Kate said. She worries about homelessness and HIV, both of which she says are growing concerns in the aging community. By connecting aging adults with the assistance they need, Seabury works to help counter these problems.
Seniors still living at home can find free assistance through the Age-In-Place program, Seabury’s largest outreach. Volunteers - many of them high school students - rake yards, trim hedges, run the vacuum cleaner, and take care of other simple maintenance to enable people to stay in their homes safely.
Meal delivery, transportation, and social work assistance services also benefit many aging adults. Family-style or community Seabury homes serve seniors unable to live independently.
Kate points out that Seabury doesn’t exclusively serve seniors. The organization can be a reassuring presence for caregivers and families, especially adult children living too far to offer routine assistance to their parents. A Seabury social worker can offer counsel and mediation for families as a parent plans to transition from independent living to a Seabury residence or another assisted living home.
Seabury Resources for Aging has evolved over the decades, adapting strategies and outreach programs to connect to the community’s changing needs and become a powerful resource.
“We’re 90 years old,” Kate said. “We have the experience and the expertise.”
About the Author: Jessica Sillers is a Washington, DC-based writer. She has volunteered as a teacher's assistant in Faridabad, India, and on a farm in Ireland. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org