TLC Services is a unique group of more than twenty retired, volunteer, mental health professionals and educators who offer their services free of charge and stigma free. (Donations are, however, requested to cover TLC’s expenses). Since their beginning in mid-2017, when they became Service Partners with United Way, TLCs have impacted the lives of over 6,000 Villagers by healing emotional wounds, relieving heavy burdens, and providing comfort, peace and knowledge.
Many normal things happen in the senior age group that can cause emotional pain and suffering, including numerous losses and coping challenges. Add Covid-19 to the mix and you may be experiencing more than usual amounts of fear, anxiety, worry, uncertainty, stress, irritability and anger as a result.
Our Transition Life Consultants loved what they did in their careers prior to retirement, and have a passion to continue helping others, but on a more limited basis. Their monthly educational presentations are recorded and available for viewing on the TLC website, offering information plus help with relationship, communication and coping skills, and new approaches to handle pertinent issues of concern, especially during the pandemic. The support groups they facilitate offer a safe, non-judgmental place to be affirmed and creates a sense of belonging for those who feel alone. Training opportunities for self-help group facilitators and mentors equips them with knowledge, self-confidence, a new purpose, and the rewards of being helpful to others. The one-on-one counseling or coaching times lends individuals a compassionate and skillful ear which leads to awareness, hope, inspiration, empowerment, growth and the alleviation of guilt.
TLCs see a need and then work to fill it using their knowledge and skills. Earlier this year, one TLC gave a presentation to an Alzheimer’s support group. He realized that the members’ main concern was knowing when it is the right time to put their loved one into Memory Care. Within months, he wrote an easy-to-read booklet addressing this. It is available to order on the website.
There are no TLC offices. Their work was being done in Recreation Centers, wrap-around porches, park benches, and independent living or assisted living facilities. But since the pandemic, their services are being offered on zoom and one-on-one by phone, Skype, facetime, or zoom. They recently started a new service; a live, zoom ASK TLC show where 3-4 TLCs share their expertise on one topic, and any zoom participant can ask the TLCs anything they want.
More information about TLC Services, along with upcoming events and all available recorded presentations, can be found on our website: www.tlc-services.org. TLCs welcome any donations to cover expenses.
by Pat Hayes LCSW
Director TLC Services