Nonprofit, A Little Help, Keeping Older Coloradans Safer At Home

DENVER (CBS4) – More than 1,100,000 Coloradans are over the age of 60. That’s 1.1 million people who are being asked to continue staying home due to the coronavirus. Many of them need just a little help to do that, and that is exactly what one organization is designed to do.

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“How are you doing, Jane?” Dan Lemke asked, as he brings a load of groceries to a Denver home.

“Oh, I’m alright,” Jane replied from her front door.

Checking on older adults, while they stay at home, is an important part of keeping them engaged. For two-and-a-half years, Dan Lemke has been checking on, driving for, and now bringing groceries to those who need it.

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“Seeing these people smile when you take them somewhere or when you bring groceries to them or the gratitude that they give you every time you do something for them. It’s cool,” Lemke told CBS4.

For Jane, it’s a lifeline. She and her husband have lived in their house for 60 years, and she’s determined to stay there even as she ages. So far she’s been able to make that happen, with the help of volunteers like Lemke, and the nonprofit organization, A Little Help.

“They’re called A Little Help, but those of us who have had their caring and wonderful service would change it to A Huge Help,” Jane said.

“Our biggest need generally has been transportation, but now during COVID-19, we’ve had to shift gears and make sure that we are meeting the needs,” said Hilary Lenz, Executive Director of A Little Help.

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Access to essential items, care calls, and kindness kits are a few of the ways that A Little Help has expanded its programming. It’s also added new clients and 1,000 new volunteers in the midst of the pandemic.

“It’s incredible to see that outpouring of support; and, neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what our model is based on, and folks like Dan coming over to bring groceries to Jane,” Lenz told CBS4.

“They have been an incredibly sustainable service right now, when other agencies have been closing. So it’s really been a wonderful partnership for us,” said Jayla Sanchez-Warren, Executive Director for the Area Agency on Aging.

The Area Agency on Aging at the Denver Regional Council of Governments provides funding for A Little Help, and other programs allowing Coloradans to age at home.

“I agree with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, there is no place like home,” Jane added.

CBS4 is a partner with DRCOG’s Area Agency on Aging. You can find more resources for older Coloradans on the Aging Colorado page at CBSDenver.com.