Aging in Place The Woodlands service for seniors adapts to virtual needs




Aging in Place The Woodlands volunteer Herb Reinhold (right) brings a member to a hospital appointment. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Aging in Place The Woodlands volunteer Herb Reinhold (right) brings a member to a hospital appointment. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Aging in Place The Woodlands volunteer Herb Reinhold (right) brings a member to a hospital appointment. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)

When the coronavirus pandemic first put Texas into lockdown in March 2020, area nonprofit Aging in Place The Woodlands was informed it had to close down its operations, which include driving elderly residents to appointments, until things improved.

“We were set to resume transportation services in June, and then we experienced a surge in [coronavirus] cases,” said Peggy Reinhold, founder of Aging in Place The Woodlands.

Limited services resumed in July, she said.

The group aims for its members to be able to remain in their homes, and it offers assistance for tasks such as driving to appointments, technical assistance with computers and small repairs.

It was not until November that the nonprofit was able to resume its usual operations, which included changes, such as in-person social hours being conducted over Zoom virtual meetings, Reinhold said.


After being in the area since 2017, the nonprofit is still continuing to grow, organizers said.

Adapting to a pandemic

Despite the restrictions in place and its focus on a vulnerable demographic, Reinhold said the group was able to add five members and two volunteers in 2020.

More recently, Aging in Place The Woodlands has been helping and encouraging its members to get vaccinated for COVID-19, she said.

“As of March 4, 71% of our members and volunteers have been vaccinated. I am very proud of this,” Reinhold said.

The biggest change over the past year has been the adaptation to using Zoom for virtual events, she said.

“We actually had to start from scratch,” Reinhold said. “We purchased the app and then had to train volunteers how to use it and lead our Zoom socials.”

Benefits to aging in place

Reinhold said the purpose of Aging in Place The Woodlands is to keep the elderly population socially active.“They have lost a lot of their social contacts,” Reinhold said. “Either they have moved here ... or you do not just make as many social contacts as you get older. It is harder when you cannot get out of your home as much.”

To encourage this, Aging in Place The Woodlands focuses on having at least one social activity per month, and members are also encouraged to teach each other skills such as knitting and music to stay engaged, Reinhold said.

Aging in Place The Woodlands

281-845-4441

www.aiptwtx.org

Health and home

  • Volunteers help members with a range of tasks, including transportation to medical appointments and minor household repairs.

  • Transportation

  • Minor home maintenance/repairs

  • Tech support

  • Home safety evaluations

  • Safety check-ins

  • Educational information

  • Social activities

By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


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