One of the pleasures in life is attending cultural events. Unfortunately, many seniors retire and move into a fixed income situation where they can no longer afford to pay for the ever-increasing ticket prices of cultural events. And, those who love to attend them, can assure you that seeing them on television or online is not the same.
Joan Raderman developed an organization, Circle of Care, that would help prevent isolation, helplessness and loneliness for seniors by providing accessibility to the arts, education and a community. This 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization is “dedicated to providing accessibility to the arts, education and social/civic opportunities for the homebound elder, senior facility residents and older adults with physical, cognitive and financial challenges.” They also provide companions and transportation to all events at no cost (although a $5 donation is appreciated). There have been times when they have impacted over 500 senior citizens in a month.
“My work is advocacy for seniors,” said Raderman. “I respond to the community health regulations. It’s a challenge, as a lot of the people are in their 90s and even 100. This is surreal to them. We want to keep people connected to each other through the arts, and found it especially difficult during the covid-year.”
The group looks for volunteers of all ages, who not only assist seniors in transportation, but also socialize with them. This forms an intergenerational community. It enlists concerned citizens who are committed to making a positive impact on the “culture of aging.” The volunteers range in age from 15 to 80. Volunteers can also get a free ticket to the event that they bring a senior citizen to. Note, only seniors who have been fully vaccinated and who are willing to wear a mask can get a ride in a volunteer’s car to an event.
The list of arts organizations who donate tickets is around eleven in most years. It includes about a dozen one-day free tickets to Lyons Folks Fest. This list includes Boulder Chamber of Orchestra, Bach Festival, Shakespeare Festival, Boulder Ballet, Colorado Music Festival, CU theater and concerts and opera, Dairy Center for the Performing Arts, and more.
Director Raderman worked with MasterClass.com for six months in 2020 to get some scholarships to their classes. Her efforts resulted in 450 scholarships for lower income seniors or those in subsidized housing to continue their education. It is valued at $100,000.
Circle of Care had a temporary shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 restrictions, and it drifted from the minds of local Lyons seniors. In the past, Ruth Corwin and myself were volunteers with the Circle. We advertised their programs to seniors and at senior lunches, and sometimes drove seniors to the events. Now Ruth has moved out of state, and I have taken over a 40-hour a week job. If you would be interested in becoming involved and be a Lyons contact person, please contact them. They also need volunteers to pick up seniors in Longmont and Boulder. You can do as much or as little as you want, or have time for. The rewards are great.
To volunteer, or join the program, or donate:
Circle of Care (Boulder)