Honoring, supporting and caring for the elderly in North Fulton

Senior Services of North Fulton’s vital programs need help at the holidays and year-round.
National Charity League volunteers serve lunch at the Alpharetta/Crabapple Senior Center. (Courtesy Senior Services North Fulton)

Credit: Senior Services North Fulton

Credit: Senior Services North Fulton

National Charity League volunteers serve lunch at the Alpharetta/Crabapple Senior Center. (Courtesy Senior Services North Fulton)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent data, nearly 13% of North Fulton’s population is 65 years of age or older. That’s over 137,000 residents with varying degrees of need. Many may still be working toward retirement. Many are living active, productive lives. But for some, aging in place is a struggle frustrated by medical conditions, transportation issues and the challenges of living on a fixed income.

Senior Services of North Fulton states their vision is to create an “inclusive community where all older adults are revered, cared for and supported to live meaningful and productive lives.

The organization’s largest program is Meals on Wheels. With nutritious meals prepared from scratch by Open Hand Atlanta, at least 500 SSNF volunteers will deliver over 50,000 meals this year to seniors who have trouble preparing, accessing or affording food for themselves.

“We get about 50% of our funding from Fulton County and the rest we raise on our own,” said SSNF Community Relations Director Heather Terry.

For clients with financial need and no consistent way of getting groceries, the nonprofit also partners with North Fulton Community Charities’ food pantry to deliver nonperishable groceries. There is also an emergency assistance program for seniors facing unexpected financial difficulties.

In addition to these vital programs, it operates Transportation Options for Seniors (TOPS) to provide free rides to and from medical appointments.

“This is by far our most expensive program at about $300,000 this year,” she stated. “It’s definitely great for those seniors that have chronic illnesses that need to get to chemo treatments or dialysis.”

If these essential programs are not enough, SSNF also operates seven senior centers- four in North Fulton and three in the city of Atlanta. Seniors can enjoy a hot lunch Monday through Friday along with a wide variety of social activities and learning opportunities.

“We really want to be the one-stop-shop for anything senior-related in North Fulton,” said Terry. “If we don’t provide it we have an amazing resource list of partnerships with other amazing nonprofits in the area where we can refer clients. We never send someone away without some sort of next steps to get whatever they need.”

Yet another thoughtful program, and because the organization understands how important and therapeutic the relationship between seniors and their pets can be, the 501(c)3 offers Meals on Wheels for Pets. The program assists individuals in purchasing all or part of their monthly pet food and cat litter needs.

“It’s so important for us to remember and recognize our seniors,” said Terry. “I think there are a lot of nonprofits out there like the humane society and childhood cancer and they’re all very worthy causes but I feel like our seniors get forgotten sometimes. Of course during the holidays we want to take care of our elderly, but many of these folks have lived here for generations and they’ve built North Fulton to what it is today. We need to take care of them in their time of great need.”

Joins SSNF’s end-of year campaign, “Serving Seniors, Nourishing Lives,” by shopping the Amazon Wish List, volunteer or make a donation at https://ssnorthfulton.org.

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