Seniors Helping Seniors

Margaret Johnson. photo courtesy of seniors helping seniors

Eighty-year-old Margaret Johnson, a retired administrative assistant, uses a walker because of a chronic spine problem. She’s unable to reach up to the stacked washer and dryer in the laundry room of her high-rise apartment building in East Lakeview. 

With no family to help out, Johnson (who asked that her real name not be used) turned to Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS). The in-home care service connects paid senior providers with older adults who could use a hand. 

Sylvie Hutchings, manager and owner of SHS Chicago Metro, says that for a fee, the agency provides seniors who can cook healthy meals, do light housekeeping, and complete other routine chores that become challenging for aging adults who want to remain independent. 

The seniors providing services are happy to have the extra income. And both the providers and the receivers benefit from the companionship, Hutchings says. “We match our seniors who receive services to providers who have similar interests, so it’s more like friends helping friends.”