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As the new year begins, we’d like to share a story with you of how a local family was able to keep their promise, thanks to the programs at Missoula Aging Services (MAS). When you make a gift to MAS, every dollar helps locals like Les and his family get the support they need to navigate life's changes. 

After serving in World War II, and then working for the railroad for 25 years, Les was happy to retire in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley. Les' retirement didn’t last long however and he was soon back keeping busy as a clerk at the local Post Office, but that initial feeling stuck with him. This was the place he wanted to grow old in.

Les loved his home with a view of the mountains, and he let his family know how important it was to him to continue living there, in his own home, as he grew older.

The years passed. After retiring a second time from the post office, Les' eyesight began to get worse and he started showing signs of dementia. Meals on Wheels helped, and his granddaughter who lived in the area also began taking on more caregiving responsibilities.

His granddaughter wanted to honor her commitment to Les that he wouldn’t have to leave his home, but she also needed to balance caregiving with her own job and family. Les' dementia was getting more serious, and he began to need more caregiving support than she could provide by herself. She researched her options and found that the VA was able to connect her with the Veteran Directed Care program at Missoula Aging Services.

Shelli with the Veteran Directed Care program met with Les and his family members. Through the program, they were able to use funds from the VA to hire trusted friends and neighbors to help take care of Les. They felt much better knowing that Les was getting the care he needed to continue living safely at home.

 “Overall, the unfailing stability and kindness we received during a time that was so unstable and unsure made Missoula Aging Services such a lifeline for us," said Les' grandaughter.

 "We were so grateful to keep Grandpa at home in his familiar surroundings. If he would have been moved, his anxiety would likely have been off the charts. Keeping him at home was critical. We were so grateful to be able to be there in the end and help fulfill our promise to him,” she continued.

Each person’s situation is unique, and because of you Missoula Aging Services has the resources to provide personalized support for local older adults and caregivers. Services include Meals on Wheels, Veteran Directed Care and other programs that support aging in place, programs to help older adults access online health appointments, help with Medicare, In-Home Care Services, and much more.

Your partnership is vital to help support older adults and caregivers in our community. Without you, people like Les would not have what they need, right when they need it. Would you consider making a gift to support our mission in the new year?