Value of older adults celebrated

Published 11:55 am Thursday, June 9, 2016

Older adults are a growing and vital part of this country.

“The contributions they make to our communities are varied, deeply rooted, and include influential roles in the nation’s economy, politics, and the arts. Older adults are blazing trails in all aspects of American life,” said Kim Shuskey, Davie Senior Services director.

In 1963, the contributions of older people were recognized in May – Older Americans Month (OAM). Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate older residents. This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasized the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.

While Davie County Senior Services provides vital programs and services to older adults year-round, they used Older American’s Month to focus on how older adults here are leading and inspiring others, how the community can support and learn from them, and how people might follow their examples to blaze their own trails.

Senior Services invited community leaders to see first-hand the impact of older adults on the community, as well as the impact that Davie County Senior Services has each day in the lives of older adults. Leaders were invited to deliver meals, serve lunch, or help with a special event.  Several responded by giving their time to help.

Jim Murphy, Senior Services’ Advisory Council member, John Gallimore, director for the county’s information and technology department, and Mocksville Town Manager Christine Bralley delivered meals.

Gallimore rode with Murphy, who is a regular homebound meals volunteer and enjoyed the experience.

“This is such a valuable and much needed service in our county. We’re very fortunate to have dedicated and caring volunteers to help folks receive a meal at their home,” Gallimore said. “The volunteers also help to check on residents and can alert Senior Services staff when other help might be needed.”

“I was most impressed by the care and concern of the volunteers,” Bralley said. “The personal attention and connectivity to the recipients of the program amazingly exceeds the nutritional value. I was honored to participate.”

Senior Services serves approximately 140 meals each weekday to those who are homebound and unable to prepare food for themselves. These meals are delivered by volunteers and more are always needed.

Dr. Darrin Hartness, school superintendent, and Suzanne Wright, county health director, helped to serve lunch on site at Senior Services. Between 40 and 65 people come each weekday to the Mocksville site for lunch. Lunch is also served at Senior Services’ Farmington site. In addition to the meal, an activity, program or speaker is available to the participants each day.  Older adults can receive a nutritious meal, an engaging activity and socialize with their peers every weekday during the lunch program.

Several others community leaders helped with special events throughout the month including advisory member Priscilla Williams, Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin, Wendy Gallimore, Veteran’s Service Officer Meagan Williams, Domestic Violence Director Lorri Hayes, Social Services’ Director Tracie Murphy, and Mocksville Town Board member Brent Ward.

In addition to daily events and classes, Senior Services started the month off with a Prayer Breakfast, co-sponsored with the YMCA to celebrate the National Day of Prayer on May 5.

The next night, May 6, more than 140 women came to celebrate Mother’s Day during the annual mother/daughter social.

On May 9, attorney Ryan Addison spoke to a group regarding basic estate planning.

May 10 was the day for all senior artists and craftspeople to turn in their work for SilverArts. These items stayed on display at the library for the remainder of the month.

On May 14th, older adults and their friends and family enjoyed a Saturday Morning Breakfast. On May 16, a movie was shown, complete with popcorn.

May 17 brought a Senior Lunch. Following a showcase of some of Senior Services most popular exercise and dance classes, participants enjoyed a grilled chicken salad lunch. During the week of May 23, Senior Services celebrated its members by having goodies out each day for members to stop by and enjoy.

The week culminated in a Membership Appreciation Party where refreshments were served and bingo was played.

The month wrapped up with the Awards Banquet for SilverArts and Senior Games, complete with the performing arts entrants.

At the Farmington site, participants learned more about the programs and services offered by Centerpoint on May 2. Friday, May 13 was the perfect day to learn about the origins of some common superstitions. On May 16th participants learned some helpful hints about decluttering their homes. Membership Appreciation Day at the Farmington site was held May 25.

“Older American’s Month was a busy, fun and successful month and was a great way to celebrate how older adults in our county continue to blaze a trail,” Shuskey said.

To learn more about the events or volunteer opportunities at Davie County Senior Services, contact the Mocksville site, at the Bobby H. Knight Senior Services building, 278 Meroney St., 336-753-6230,