2017-04-06 / Life in Leelanau

Senior Services provides help at the push of a button, much more


G.G. GALLA of Cedar, 76, relies on a variety of services and programs offered through the Leelanau County Senior Services department and says she is “very happy” with the help she has been getting. G.G. GALLA of Cedar, 76, relies on a variety of services and programs offered through the Leelanau County Senior Services department and says she is “very happy” with the help she has been getting. Georgina “G.G.” Galla of Cedar, 76, says she is a very fortunate woman.

She’s still able to live in the same home she’s lived in for 53 years in downtown Cedar, and has lots of friends and relatives nearby to look out for her.

Things have gotten a little tougher since her husband passed away two years ago. She’s been diagnosed with a degenerative muscle disease and has a few other medical issues on top of that.

Her condition prevents her from walking without assistance, cooking for herself, and doing many other things that most folks take for granted.

“I’ve really been very happy with all the help I’ve received through Leelanau County Senior Services,” Galla said.

Like many of the Senior Services department’s clients, Galla receives help from the county under more than one program. For example, the Senior Services department helped her sign up for a Meals on Wheels program that delivers prepared meals to her home five days a week.

“I love every bit of what I get from Meals on Wheels,” Galla said.

She also relies on a Medication Management service provided through the county. The county contracts with a Registered Nurse who visits seniors like Galla in their homes every week to conduct an assessment and ensure seniors are set up with all the medications they need to take throughout the week.

In addition, Galla acquired a “Freedom Alert Emergency Pendant” from Senior Services which, she said, has come in handy quite recently.

“I just can’t keep my balance like I used to and when I lose my balance, I go right down and can’t get up again on my own,” she said. “Fortunately, I have this button I push and can call for help. It’s also fortunate that the Cedar Fire Department is just four blocks away.”

The Senior Service department sells the pendants to local seniors for $160 with no monthly fees. Galla is one of 242 Leelanau County seniors who has acquired one of the pendants over the past few years.

She also has a Senior Servicesprovided “file of life” folder on her refrigerator at home which contains emergency medical information that emergency responders can refer to if they are dispatched to her home.

Galla would qualify for a homemaker service provided by Leelanau County Senior Services, but has opted not to take advantage of it.

“My kids stop by and clean my house for me regularly — they do a lot of things for me,” Galla said.

“But there are a lot of things the county Senior Services department provides for me that also make me feel very fortunate,” she said.

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