Celebrating El Cajon military veterans for Thanksgiving

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WEBDerrik Staples Presenting Veteran Honors.jpg

The location was Safari Mobile Lodge Community, a mobile home park tucked away just off E. Main St. in downtown El Cajon. The date was Tuesday, Nov. 20. It was Thanksgiving week, right at midday. The occasion was for a collaboration among operators of the mobile home park and representatives of home care and hospice services, providing a traditional-fare Thanksgiving Luncheon for residents, with a special emphasis on honoring the military service of many veterans living at the park.

The location was Safari Mobile Lodge Community, a mobile home park tucked away just off E. Main St. in downtown El Cajon. The date was Tuesday, Nov. 20. It was Thanksgiving week, right at midday. The occasion was for a collaboration among operators of the mobile home park and representatives of home care and hospice services, providing a traditional-fare Thanksgiving Luncheon for residents, with a special emphasis on honoring the military service of many veterans living at the park.

Derrik Staples, coordinator of volunteers and veteran liaison with Apreva Hospice, brought framed certificates of recognition for Safari park residents who served in branches of U.S. military service, in a nod to November as military appreciation month.

“I want to thank all of you,” Staples said. “The time I spent in the Army was the happiest time of my life. And our lives today would not be possible but for all of you who went before.”

The day’s schedule of activities began with appetizers and the meal, featuring thin-sliced roast turkey, savory stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls and green bean casserole.

A selection of pie slices was offered for dessert, as luncheon organizers kicked off a rolling raffle for around 50 attendees, who packed tablesin the park’s meeting center. Raffle prizes included grocery and fruit baskets, as well as coupons for 30-minute care sessions from First Promise Care Services.

Employees of First Promise home-cooked all dishes on the day’s menu and offered balance and blood pressure screenings at the event.

Leaders with the East County Chamber of Commerce were on hand to acknowledge Chamber member business First Promise for assisting seniors in the community, as was El Cajon Councilmember Steve Goble, who also praised the efforts.

Will Matthiaswas among the honorees, a Safari resident and World War II veteran, healthy and strong at 94 years of age.

“I am enjoying the event,” Matthias said. His service was in the Air Force, and he was drafted out of high school before receiving his diploma.

Kevin D. Jones, vice president of First Promise Care Services, described the festive free meal as initial introduction of the company’s panel of in-home services to park residents. This was the first event as part of a test case to examine whether park residents can and will use brief sessions of home care, enough so for the company to feasibly bundle multiple visits at the park.

Jones explained the background considerations.

“Most home care service companies require a four-hour visit to send out a company caregiver or team, and many people who could use these services cannot pay for that long a session but could benefit from a shorter session,” Jones said.

First Promise principals envision the benefits of sending a caregiver team to the park with a series of scheduled half-hour and hour-long care sessions in residents’ mobile homes throughout the park.

Use of the raffle coupons for free 30-minute care sessions will yield a gauge of Safari residents’ interest in scheduling brief-session services on a continuing basis.

Jones noted that the goal is to keep frail and senior people living safely in their own homes as long as possible, instead of landing in skilled nursing facilities off and on, or winding up homeless in permanent nursing home residence.

First Promise offerings cover the gamut of senior care needs.

The company provides lighter needs with companion services, such as conversation, activities, and medication and appointment reminders. First Promise home support services include housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, and exercise.

More serious and involved options are available for personal care with grooming, hygiene, and incontinence care, and dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

The company’s name makes reference to the fifth of the Ten Commandments from Judaism and Christian religious faiths, which states, “Honor your father and your mother.”

Further, the company’s watchword derives from the New Testament in Ephesians 6:2, “‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the First commandment with a Promise.” (That promise is reprised in Ephesians 6:3, “‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’.”)

More information on First Promise can be found online at www.firstpromisecare.com, or acquired by phoning (619) 274-9630.

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