Four Great Bend Senior Companions were honored for their service to frail adults at the August in-service meeting held on Aug. 20, at the Great Bend Senior Center. Those recognized for their service were Jeanetta Deutsch for one year; Bernita Degenhardt and Earl Lumpkins for ten years and Beverly Davis for eleven years of service to individuals in private homes in the community. These Companions provide daily assistance and friendship to adults needing support to enable them to remain living in their homes as independently as possible.
Senior Companions are volunteers, 55 years of age and older, who help their clients with daily needs such as paying bills, buying groceries, and helping with light household chores. They may remind persons to take their medication or transport them to appointments. They provide a watchful eye to see if more care is needed to allow their clients to remain living in their own homes independently and with dignity. Senior Companions also provide respite care for family caregivers. There is no cost to the client or families for the services provided.
The Companions receive benefits which include a tax-free stipend of $2.65/hour, a travel allowance, training, accident and liability insurance and recognition. They are insured with accident and liability insurance while serving.
The Senior Companion Program is sponsored by Fort Hays State University and funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service, Washington, DC. Senior Companions serve in Barton, Ellis, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Trego, Ford, Gove, Graham, Phillips, Hodgeman, Ness, Logan and Pawnee counties. If you are interested in serving as a Companion, call 785-628-5809.