By Michele Cato, Island Senior Resources Executive Director

At 51 years old, Island Senior Resources (ISR) would be considered “middle-aged” in human terms (defined by Merriam-Webster as ages 45 to 64). Like so many of us entering our autumn years, ISR has been reflecting on this second stage of adulthood – a time when people often find the most meaning and happiness in life. This led ISR to consider how we can bring meaning and happiness to our community through our work to improve the health and well-being of our aging population. As we begin a new year with optimism and hope, ISR would like to share its gently shifting direction with our community.

Our New Vision: Island Senior Resources envisions an interwoven community in which aging adults and those who care for them are supported to live with dignity.

Our New Mission: Island Senior Resources will share the joys and help meet the challenges of aging in our Island County communities by providing integrated programs and services.

ISR will focus on collaboration, learning, health access, and sustainability to achieve this mission.

There are consistent themes in our strategic thinking: “interwoven,” “integrated,” and “collaboration.” Singlehandedly, ISR cannot meet more than a fraction of the needs of the 23,000+ adults ages 65 and over and their caregivers in Island County. But together, in concert with other community organizations, government agencies, policymakers, churches, volunteers, adult children of seniors, donors, and our clients and constituents, magic can happen! With greater innovation, increased efficiencies, better-coordinated client referrals, more effective resource allocation, and shared lessons, collectively, we can work towards a brighter future for our aging population.

The most vulnerable among us face multiple and complex challenges. ISR is committed to working hand-in-hand with individuals and those who care for them to overcome the barriers that block their path to better health and well-being. We do this through our umbrella ISR HELPS, under which we provide information, assistance, and access to an array of direct services and external resources. While ISR’s direct services may change with time, public health priorities, and available resources, our commitment remains the same – to do everything we can to remove as many barriers for as many people as possible while ensuring the dignity of our seniors and caregivers.

How will ISR do this? By nourishing, navigating, and connecting:

ISR Nourishes the body, mind, and home by providing: 

Nutritious meals at home from Meals on Wheels, delivered County-wide by volunteer drivers

Conversation and lunch at our Community Meals in Langley, Coupeville, Oak Harbor, and Camano

Engagement of peers in Support Groups for those seeking shared understanding

Affordable personal and home goods at Senior Thrift thanks to generous in-kind contributions

Medical equipment and supplies at no cost at our two Medical Equipment Libraries


ISR Navigates the path toward solutions by providing:

Needs assessment and access to services through Resources and Coaching one-on-one sessions

In-Home Case Management for Medicaid-referred clients

Rides for essential needs through Medical Transportation by volunteer drivers

Access to Medicare and Social Security through Benefits Counseling by certified volunteers


ISR Connects people, neighborhoods, and communities by providing:

Interpersonal connections for seniors through Neighbors Helping Neighbors and Social Interaction activities

Information on aging and community resources through Community Outreach and Education

Collaboration and community action on behalf of seniors through Strategic Partnerships 


WE NEED YOUR HELP to connect us with your family members, friends, neighbors, and others who could use help to maintain their independence or improve their well-being as they age. If you or anyone you know needs assistance, call ISR HELPS at 360-321-1600 or email us at reception@islandseniorservices.org. Or, if you happen to be healthy and hale yourself, consider ‘paying it forward’ and help us help others by contributing your time and expertise as a volunteer, making a financial or in-kind contribution, or simply being a good neighbor to an older resident in your community.

ISR’s Board of Directors and staff wish our partners, volunteers, donors, clients, family caregivers, and community a wonderful New Year full of health and joy. Together, may we overcome the many challenges of aging while reveling in all the wonderment and good that our beautiful islands provide.