After retirement, seniors may want to stay at home instead of going to an assisted living facility or nursing home. But they may need assistance.
A local non-profit agency helps that happen.
In 1970, Senior Citizen Home Assistance Service (SCHAS) was organized in Knox County.
The agency's mission is to enable the frail elderly or disabled to have the highest quality of life possible.
SCHAS is a non-profit, tax exempt agency formed to provide trained caregivers in the home, assisted living, nursing home, and hospital.
A fundraiser for SCHAS is Saturday June 23 from 6-9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at World's Fair Park.
Call (865) 523-2920 for $75 tickets.
In the early 1980s, Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service cared for his mother.
About 25 years later, Bud Stowers turned to the non-profit agency to help care for his wife at their home in West Knox County.
"It was critical. She couldn't have survived without it. Absolutely critical," Bud Stowers said.
Pam Chesney was his wife's caregiver and then stayed on with Mr. Stowers after his wife passed away.
"I tell you what, living alone is the toughest thing you ever will face. And she covers that right there," he said.
She's more than a caregiver. She is also a companion.
"We watch TV and talk and I do the laundry, straighten up the kitchen, make up his bed every morning," Pam Chesney said.
Stowers said, "She takes care of the house if it needs it, she takes care of the laundry, she takes care of my bed, she keeps the routine straight, she keeps me straight. It's just a great arrangement."
They play Free Cell together on the computer.
Pam Chesney spends seven nights a week with Bud Stowers and cares for another client four days a week.
"You get attached to them. They're just like your family," she said.
She's worked for Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service for almost 20 years.
"I just enjoy taking care of people. I used to help my mom take care of her mom and dad then my dad's mom and dad. I just enjoy it," she said.
A part-time caregiver makes it possible for Bud Stowers to live at home instead of an assisted living facility or nursing home.
"It's a question of whether you want to go there and be a part of that, or whether you want to be independent. And I think you should be independent as long as you can," Stowers said.
He remains independent.
The 90-year-old drives to a nearby restaurant every Saturday to visit with some World War II buddies, he remembers specific dates from years gone by, and keeps up with some friends on Facebook.
"I think I'm going to get my hair dyed and my teeth whitened and see if I can pass for 80," he said with a smile and a laugh.