There has been a lot of exciting buzz around our recent news announcing Next’s bright (and secure) future. As we begin to transition to our shared space with the YMCA, there will be many milestones to look forward to.
The first milestone will be the successful passage of the Senior Millage on Birmingham’s 2023 November ballot. This modest ask of Birmingham residents will help jump start the preliminary planning, bringing the current building up to date with new amenities that will benefit both organizations. Please look to website www.CitizensSupportingSeniors.org or the city of Birmingham’s website under the “Trending Bar” for more detailed information.
Support for this Senior Millage will not only allow Next to continue our unique programs that promote life-long learning and social opportunities, but it will also provide resources for our most vulnerable residents.
Next is a tale of two centers. We offer a very robust calendar filled with great opportunities for more than 2,300 active adults, but some of our least known services are also the most crucial. Next Support Services provide more than 400 residents with the resources they need to remain safe, healthy and independent, whether they are able to pay or not.
Overwhelmingly, people prefer to age in their own home, where it is comfortable and familiar. To do so, sometimes a little extra help is needed. Next provides reliable transportation to important appointments, delivers meals daily, lends out medical equipment, offers weekly lawn care and snow removal, coordinates minor home repair and can even provide home loans to tackle major repairs.
Beyond these services, what you do not see are the hundreds of phone calls made to check on older residents living alone, prescriptions dropped off to the sick, home visits for those who may be struggling, or the informal grief support that often happens in the Next hallways. We work with adult children when they live states away from their aging parents and need another set of eyes just to be sure everything is okay — and the list goes on.
One of the very fundamental tenants of Next is never letting a resident go without. Without medicine, eye glasses or dental care, without hearing aids, without tech support — without any necessity. We care for those who need someone consistent and dependable to rely on. Someone that will know when something is “off”, and when extra support is needed. The Next staff is that someone for so many, and it is truly an honor.
All of us, at some point will need a little extra empathy from the community around us to feel safe and protected. To be trusted by our community and our clients to provide such personal care, is immeasurable.
So when you think of Next as your place to stay active and connected, also remember to think of Next as your place to find additional support to make it a little easier to remain safely at home.
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from our services, please call Next at 248.203.5270. We would love to help.
Cris Braun is Executive Director of Birmingham Next