Our Place in Walton may have started out as a place to bring ailing older adults, so their caregivers could have respite time, but that’s not where it ended up.
Today, a year plus a few months since the grand opening, those attending Our Place have become a family. While it was originally intended for caregivers to have respite time and know their loved ones were safe, the majority of people who have joined Our Place are older adults who live independently, but were struggling with a lack of social life. Most of these people have worked their entire lives, and need something to keep them active since their retirement; these people are known as our “Golden Dream Catchers Club.” Instead of a group of seniors sitting around staring at the four walls until their family or caregivers return, they are a group of dynamic individuals. Some choose the crafts table and some the card table, but no matter what, they are all having fun.
In the morning, when everyone arrives, they begin the day at Our Place by gathering in what is called the library, where there is enough room for everyone to sit around two tables arranged end to end, and enjoy coffee, tea and a snack. As the refreshments are being passed around, the activities leader outlines the plans for the day. Conversation then ensues around the table. They hear someone’s story about their doctor visit, or the most recent visit from the grandchildren. Grateful words from a woman who had a recent hospital stay stated visitors came and visited her every day bringing her joy and love; all her visitors were friends that she met at Our Place.
Most days begin with crafts or cards or puzzles and anyone can join either and even switch in between. At 11:30, the volunteers that have finished breakfast dishes now start to set for lunch time. The round tables are brought out and laid with silverware, napkins and glasses. At noon, Delaware County Senior Meals delivers the lunches, which are promptly served so they remain hot. Everyone enjoys their meal together, sitting with those they know or chancing that a new face may contain a friend. Small brown envelopes, three in total, lay above each plate. They are marked: Senior Meals, Our Place, and Golden Dream Catchers Club. The envelopes are for donations to help offset the expenses for Our Place.