Senior Nation: Homeports Real Helping Hand with Karen Wright

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Of all the challenges facing the aging, isolation and lack of personal support can be one of the most difficult. In rural areas like Kent County, with its lack of efficient transportation systems, the issue is compounded. Seniors lacking family or close friends can be cut off from basic necessities like getting to their doctor’s appointments and errand-running to banks, post office, and pharmacies.

Often, seniors living alone don’t know how to go about finding trusted providers for essential services to maintain a safe and

Homeports, a Kent County membership-based service, provides volunteer assistance to help seniors in Kent County meet the needs of “aging in place”.

Founded by local residents and modeled on national “village support” groups, Homeports offers their services to eligible seniors over 55. Eligibility is determined by an on-site evaluation of the individual’s needs. After approval, members have access to volunteer help and service providers vetted by the organization. Services range from home repairs and Health Care at Home to home technology assistance and even pet sitting. Homeport members pay for these services directly after negotiating an hourly fee and the services must meet certain criteria like non-duplication of services already provided by a public agency.

Homeports is a facilitator rather than a direct provider of services.

Full-service memberships are $350 per year and include:

  • Initial evaluation of needs
  • Up to 5 rides per month within Kent County, during normal weekday hours, driven by vetted volunteer drivers
  • Referrals to HomePorts list of approved, thoroughly screened vendors, with discounts from those vendors offering discounts
  • Home Safety Education session
  • Receipt of bi-monthly newsletter
  • Personal invitation to all educational and social programs
  • Peace of mind for the member and family, knowing that help to maintain independence is just a phone call away
  • The satisfaction of helping to sustain a grassroots non-profit community service to help friends and neighbors continue to live independently.

In this video, Executive Director Karen Wright talks to the Spy about Homeports, its services and the challenges of aging in place in rural Kent County.

The video is approximately eight minutes long. For more information about Homeports, see their website here. To find out more about volunteering, email Karen Wright at karen.homeports@gmail.com  or call (443) 480-0940

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