Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aging in Place + Gallivant Has New Executive Director

Aging in Place + Gallivant has a new executive director, Gina Zarra Blum. I met her at the organization's board meeting on Monday and was very impressed. We've put out a press release with the announcement.

This has felt like a great accomplishment after the long road we've been on to starting this nonprofit to help seniors to remain in their homes as they age. I've been working on getting this going for six years, starting with an initiative at my church (First Congregational Church of Darien) and then expanding to a town-wide pilot program of the Community Fund of Darien.

As we did research we learned that older adults needs four things to be able to thrive while remaining in their homes rather than entering institutions: access to information and referrals to trusted sources of help (nonprofits and vetted for-profits), transportation, handyman services and ways to stay connected.

Transportation was so important, we merged with Gallivant, which provides local transportation to seniors via an accessible van and a very nice town car. Gallivant uses a professional dispatcher to arrange the rides. Our board member Charlie England provides handyman services. He began doing this as a ministery through St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Darien. We also work with the library, the Town of Darien, the DCA and many nonprofits to keep our seniors connected to all the services which already exist to help them remain in our community.

I'm feeling really good about this new accomplishment. Welcome, Gina!
 

1 comment:

Julie Forrester said...

Gina is a terrific choice. Congratulations to Gina and to Aging in Place + Gallivant.
Julie