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Springfield Housing Authority Celebrates 10 years of SASH

The Eagle Times

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The Springfield Housing Authority, a nonprofit, affordable housing community for older and disabled adults, established in September of 1944, has been recognized by the statewide Support and Services at Home program for offering support and services at home (SASH) to residents and surrounding community members for 10 years, helping to keep older adults and people with disabilities healthy and living independently.

The Springfield SASH program currently serves 100 participants ranging in age from 25-99 in Springfield. Most participants reside in Springfield Housing Authority apartments, but we have some community participants, also. Participants receive one-on-one assistance and health coaching from a full-time SASH Coordinator Linda Husband, and part-time wellness nurse Diane Daniels, who create personal relationships with each person, support their health and well-being, and coordinate programming based on participants’ needs and desires.

Working in tandem with the local SASH team, which includes case managers and staff from Senior Solutions, HCRS, Springfield Medical Care Systems, VNH, Bayada, and Vermont Chronic Cares. These community partners are essential in helping our participants. SASH truly believes in a team approach.

“SASH participants at the Springfield Housing Authority enjoy better health and a higher quality of life thanks to all the support they receive from SASH and the local SASH team,” Husband said.

“It’s been such a help for many people, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions," Daniels said.

Statewide participants in the SASH hypertension-management program have lowered their systolic blood pressure by an average of 16 points, and 80 percent of those in the diabetes-management program now have blood sugar levels below the 7 percent “healthy” threshold. This in turn reduces the need for costly medical interventions and saves healthcare dollars.

In addition to programs like these that address chronic health conditions, SASH provides social activities, educational programming, and access to fitness classes. We have an annual flu clinic in our buildings sponsored by Rite Aid. We have balance screenings with a licensed physical therapist. We also set up medical rides through the MOOver.

“All of these things keep participants active and engaged, and they help to combat loneliness and isolation, which is especially common among older adults,” Daniels said.

“Having SASH based at housing sites is what makes it work,” Husband said. “We’re able to develop trusting relationships with residents and really get to know them, so we can recognize when something is wrong and step in to offer any help they may need. We want people to age as well as they can in their own homes for as long as they can.”