Most of us have been, or will be, an informal caregiver for someone during our lives. In addition all of us reading this Annual Report are connected to the aging network and healthcare; making a conscious choice to be part of a formal caregiver network.
Why…What was it in our early stages of life that we observed which taught us about the role of care giving? What is it that instilled in us a significant value about the importance of caring for those who are aged or impaired? Who taught us about the fundamentals of offering choice, care and assistance in a way that honors the independence and dignity of those needing care?
When I look back 40 years at the central mission of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, I see clearly that beyond the variations in programs and funding sources, our mission has remained strong and steadfast. I also see past and current staff and partners sharing the same fundamental values.
When I took over the leadership of this agency nearly 30 years ago, the baton was passed to me by a very special person, Russ Moran, who built the foundation of the agency during those first 10 years. He helped make our mission the centerpiece of all the programs and services we offer. He also saw in those early years the special role that ESMV can play in the health care of elders and caregivers.
Today we find that the medical community is embracing ESMV as a community partner for care
transitions, wellness programs and care coordination. They understand that for a long and healthy life it is important to provide their patients with medical education, self-awareness and tools for self-
management. We are thrilled with acceptance of these programs as witnessed by their rapid growth. This, along with the strength of all our Home Care Services and Community Programs, helps support the notion of people making choices for themselves and on their own terms at home.
In celebrating our 40 years, we all need to celebrate what drew us together as a network, the common values we share and the work we do. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that ESMV now finds its home in an old textile mill. It is the “tight weave” of our network that enables us to serve thousands of elders and older adults with dignity and the highest quality of care possible. I want to thank our partners, providers, staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Council members, for connecting their personal values to the mission of this agency. They give of their expertise, skills, and talents consistently to improve the ability of people to age successfully in our communities.