CaptureIsolation is one of the major causes of poor health and early death among the elderly. In northeast Tarrant County, over 200,000 elderly live in isolation with half reporting difficulties in performing daily chores.  The cold temperatures of recent weeks only add to their struggles.

A current Friends & Family client found that GRACE can provide sustenance, and also relief and comfort.

Allison* has complicated health concerns, and is on dialysis. Enormous medical bills continue to mount with her illness and treatment. She depends on monthly Food Commodities delivery, food from the GRACE Pantry, and occasional assistance with electric bills.

Recently she asked GRACE for the simple gift of a space heater. Her home is poorly insulated and her illness makes her particularly susceptible to the cold.

Friends & Family Coordinator Maryann Waddell was only too glad to make her life a little more comfortable with a heater.

Maryann reported on Wednesday, “I just got back from dropping off the portable heater. She is very grateful for the heater and all GRACE does for her.”

Maryann, and the volunteers who serve as “matches” for local seniors, often encounter specific needs for seniors, most of whom are hesitant to ask for help.

For example, one of the Friends & Family clients has need for a gas stove. The one she has is over 40 years old, and recently stopped working. She tries to prepare her meals in a microwave, but that severely limits the kinds of foods she can fix.

As with many Friends & Family clients, she is on a small fixed income and cannot afford the expense of a new stove, or even getting her old one fixed.

The goal of the Friends & Family program is to help the elderly feel safe, healthy, and happy in their homes, for as long as possible. The aim is to help GRACE’s seniors stay in their homes without being isolated.

If you have a gas stove to donate, please contact Maryann at 817-305-4631 or email Maryann can also help if you would like to become a Friends & Family volunteer.

* Due to her situation, an alias was requested,