Joan Lunden, award-winning journalist and author, received a standing ovation from a packed house at the SilverSource Inspiring Lives Luncheon on Wednesday, October 16 for her thoughtful advice and insights on caring for older family members, and her compelling articulation of the SilverSource mission – providing a safety net to older residents in crisis.
Over 280community and business leaders attended the annual luncheon at Woodway Country Club in Darien, CT. The event raised funds for SilverSource, Inc. and the work the agency does to provide support to Fairfield County seniors in need. The 111-year-old organization helps financially struggling seniors retain their homes and utilities, assists with food and healthcare costs, provides medical transportation and meets the basic needs of struggling older residents.
Lunden, a Greenwich resident and a member of the sandwich generation, discussed caring for her aging mother as a working mom while raising seven children. The experience shaped her passion for offering support and encouragement to family caregivers.
“Senior care is about how you retain that senior’s human dignity, self-respect and self-esteem, when suddenly we become the parent to our parents,” said Lunden. “That role reversal is a tough one, and there’s a lot of different emotions that a senior goes through, and the caregivers too.”
Lunden offered the advice of finding support to assist caregivers and their loved ones through the caregiving journey and having a plan in place well before it is needed.
“Most of us are not prepared for when loved ones will need care,” said SilverSource Executive Director Kathleen Bordelon. “When the necessity for caregiving arises, we help seniors in need and their families navigate the challenges of aging and assist them with the resources they need.”
The event honored four generations of the Cingari family who were presented with a SilverSource Inspiring Lives Award for their generosity and impact on the community. The proprietors of 11 stores that make up ShopRite Grade A Markets, Inc., the Cingaris’ enduring family tradition of helping others includes hosting fundraisers, funding scholarships, donating food and providing a bus to pick up seniors so they may do their weekly grocery shopping.
“We as individuals, as a family, as leaders of our communities feel privileged to be able to give back,” said Tom Cingari. “Community service is not something we do, it’s something we live.”
The event also recognized past SilverSource Board Vice Chair, Adele Gordon, who passed away last month. Gordon leaves a lasting legacy of advocacy for low-income seniors and decades of service to her community. In her honor, SilverSource established the Adele Gordon Inspiring Lives Award in recognition of her inspiring life. The inaugural award was presented to Gordon’s husband and family.
SilverSource is grateful to sponsors ShopRite Grade A Markets, Accurate Lock & Hardware, Cacace Tusch & Santagata, Day Pitney, Sharon & Jack Feighery, Pitney Bowes, Plaza Realty & Management Corp., The Residence at Sellecks Woods, Richard A. Silver, Stamford Health, Stamford YMCA, First County Bank, Fox & Fox, Peggy & Alan Kalter, Mezzapelle & Assocs., Gary & Karen Neems, and media sponsor Stamford Magazine/Moffly Media.
To learn more about SilverSource, or to make a donation, please visit www.SilverSource.org or call 203-324-6584.
Photo credit: Smith Studios