Elders often overlooked as community resource

Dedicated hard workers pulled off the South Peninsula Haven House Award Ceremony March 22. Bravo to the staff of Haven House, its board of directors, and the Women of Distinction Committee who produced a fun program.

 I appreciate being honored with Ingrid Harrald, Katherine Dolma and Kris Holderied, all dedicated to science and altruistism. Because I am 76 years old and somewhat disabled, this “Woman of Wisdom” award boosted my spirits. It reminded me of good things I have done. Often when I am ill or frustrated with the computer, it is easy to feel incompetent.   

Many wise women and men live in our community. If you are a reasonably healthy person under 65, acknowledge elders you know. Dr. Walter Johnson, a wise Homer man, age 90, described a fact of the modern world: My generation is the first to face a diminished elder role. In the past, parents and grandparents taught youth how to navigate the world. It is young people who teach us how to use computers and cell phones.

Please consider asking elders that you know to tell you or show you something:  stories of their past, wood working, knitting, gardening or whatever they know that interests you. Let them teach you even when they require personal care. If you teach them things, be patient.

Haven House has an important role in empowering people, young or old. People naturally associate it with helping women victims. Note that South Peninsula Haven House serves any victim of domestic violence or sexual assault: child, teenager, man or woman. Please encourage any victim you know to call 911 for the police or 235-7712 for Haven House, and do it as soon as possible after an assault.

 Amy Bollenbach