Most Rosener House participants have dementia or other conditions that limit their ability to get out and shop for the people on their holiday list, so the Peninsula Volunteers stage a holiday bazaar that brings the shopping to them.
“The PVs donate the gifts and then take each participant shopping one by one,” explained Barbra Kalt, Director of the adult day care facility in Menlo Park that serves the entire Peninsula. “After the gifts are selected, volunteers help wrap them up and put all the gifts in a red bag. Just before Christmas, the participants take the gifts home. The family members who receive the gifts are very touched.”
Dorothea Vasil (pictured left) and Olga Agree (pictured right) were this year’s co-chairs. “This is the seventh year I’ve taken on this role,” said Olga, “and it’s the most fulfilling thing I do as a PV.”
Rosener House was started in 1978 by a group of PVs who recognized that some area seniors were not able to take part independently in programs offered at Little House Activity Center. The adult day services were offered for many years at what was once Fremont School on Middle Avenue in Menlo. Following the Loma Prieta earthquake, the building was deemed unsafe, but the City of Menlo Park allowed the PVs to build a new facility at the same site.
Over the years, the programs have expanded to include physical, occupational and speech therapies, health monitoring and specialized dementia services.
“We currently have about 100 participants overall, with about 50 people coming each day,” said Barbara. “There are a variety of activities each day from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. The participant benefits as does the family caregiver who is given respite from full time responsibility.”
People interested in getting a family member involved at Rosener House should call (650) 322-0126 to arrange a tour and visit with a social worker.
Photos by Irene Searles