Judy Rose: Volunteer Spotlight
Judy Rose probably doesn’t fit the profile that comes to mind when you imagine senior individuals. At 67 she’s still vibrant and active, and her enthusiasm for life is clearly discernible in the way she talks. She recalls with scorn the number of times she’s been asked why she doesn’t just sit down and watch TV, or rest during the day. “I’m not a sit-down person,” she says emphatically. “At home, I get kind of bored.”
Instead of watching TV or resting, if you were to look for Judy during the day, you’d probably find her at FSL’s Wickenburg Senior Center, playing pool in the game room, working on art projects in the craft room, or tucking into her favorite lunch (fried chicken); or, alternatively, catching a ride into town with one of FSL’s transportation services. “I can drive, but I can’t afford a car,” she explains. “[The transportation services] have a bunch of good drivers. Linda, she’s really sweet and she helps everybody. I really like it.”
By now, Judy’s a familiar face in the FSL community. She’s been participating in FSL programs for around five years and . Two years ago, she moved into one of FSL’s income-based senior housing apartments, where she lives with her dog, Cody, and her parakeet, Green. “I like everybody here,” she says, referring to the Wickenburg senior center. “I’d be here all the time if I could. I do activities and I color and I eat a lot—as you can tell,” she quips. “I do the parties when they have those. I just love it here.”
Although Judy seems perky and energetic during our conversation, she hasn’t always been this cheerful. She lives far from her family, and before getting involved with FSL, she was one of many seniors suffering from social isolation—a problem that’s become so serious and widespread that some experts have started calling it “an epidemic of loneliness.” She admits, “I used to be depressed a lot. At home, it’s just me and my animals and that’s it. I’m not depressed any more because I’m coming here. I like to be around people.”
Judy knows she’s not alone in struggling with isolation—particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—and she thinks it’s important that other people know about the benefits of FSL. When asked what she’d say to other people who could benefit from FSL’s services, she replied: “You can’t get treated [any] better than [you do] coming here and eating, or doing activities.”
Thank you, Judy, for all of the wonderful energy and humor that you bring to FSL’s programs!
Established in 1974, FSL is dedicated to providing integrated, customized care for those who need it in the Phoenix area. We offer a wide range of home- and community-based services, including:
- Affordable housing options
- Nutritious meal programs
- Health & Wellness programs
- Senior centers
- Recreation programs
- Support for caregivers
These services are designed to enable Arizonans of all ages to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. So, if you or someone you know is struggling to have their needs met, don’t hesitate to contact us and find out how we can help you. And if you’re looking to give back, consider donating or volunteering your time to our mission. We can’t wait to work with you!