Caregiver Connections “Senior Centers in Clarion County” 9 5 16

Caregiver Connections “Senior Centers in Clarion County” 9 5 16


Welcome to Caregiver Connections sponsored
by WRC Senior Services, I’m Dawn, your host for today’s program. If you’ve never tuned in before, Caregiver
Connections is geared towards older adults as well as caregivers who are providing support
for elderly loved ones. Our goal is to share with you some helpful
information for topics that might make your life a little bit easier. You can check out all of our past episodes
on our website, they’re all archived there so you can see what we’ve been talking about
over the last couple of years. Those are at www.wrc.org. And this program is brought to you by WRC
Senior Services, which is a not for profit organization based in Brookville. Here in Clarion County, they operate the brand
new Water Run Landing, which just opened, in August moved to that building here in Clarion. They also have Edgewood Heights, which is
a personal care home in New Bethlehem, and In Home Solutions, which is our home care,
home health and hospice agency in Clarion. If you have any questions about the information
you hear today, or you have a topic that you’d like to have us discuss, you can give us a
call at the In Home Solutions office, which is 226-4029 or send us an email at [email protected] On today’s show, we are going to be talking
about senior centers in Clarion County. September is National Senior Center month
so we thought it would be a perfect time to talk about our senior centers here and what
all they have to offer. Our guest in the studio today is Kristi Wolbert,
and she is the Director for the Main Street Center here in Clarion. So welcome Kristi, thanks for joining us today
on the show. How are you doing? (Kristi) Good, thanks for having me. (Dawn) Alright so why don’t we start out,
if you could give me a little background on the senior centers in Clarion County. (Kristi) Sure. Well the first senior center in Clarion County
opened in 1970 and it was the Clarion Center. It was located in the rear community room
of the Clarion Free Library and they later relocated to the Clarion VFW building. And when the Clarion Hospital moved into its
new building, the Center moved into the old hospital, or what is now called the Clarion
Office Complex. We remodeled the kitchen and dining area and
had an activity area for the participants there, and in ’99 after extensive remodeling,
Clarion moved into the building where it is currently on Main Street. And by ’79 we had four centers open in the
county, which is Clarion, Rimersburg, Leeper and New Bethlehem. They were open three days, and there was a
center open for each day of the week to provide a hot meal. And the Clarion County transportation system
delivered the home-delivered meals at that time. We later opened a center in St. Petersburg,
and that just moved, that center just moved to the center in the Knox area a couple years
ago. So now we have five centers, which are Clarion,
Rimersburg-which are open four days a week- , Leeper and New Bethlehem and Knox, each
open one day a week. And I have been the center manager there for
23 years. (Dawn) Oh wow, great. So you have a lot of experience with senior
centers, you were around for some of that history, that’s great. So what age group can participate at the centers? (Kristi) Well to be eligible, a participant
must be 60 years of age or the spouse of someone who is 60 years or older. Those younger than 60 can attend the centers
but they must pay the full cost of the meal, and they may need to pay some extra for extra
activities. We do have volunteers who are under 60 who
participate and in those cases we do not ask them to pay for their meals. (Dawn) And what role does the senior center
play in providing meals, you mentioned that a couple times, here in Clarion County for
seniors? (Kristi) Well two of the centers, Rimersburg
and the Clarion Main St. center, pack home delivered meals to be sent out to all areas
of Clarion County. Three days a week, each center packs hot or
cold meals for our consumers and some consumers also receive one or two frozen meals. We receive our meals in bulk from the Nutrition
Group, which is located in Ford City, and we receive those in the morning, and then
we pack the meals in individual containers with the portions specified by a registered
dietitian. They get a complete meal, and they are packed
in hot boxes and coolers and immediately sent out for delivery. We provided 4,125 regular meals and 348 weekend
two-packs in the month of July. And the number includes the congregate meals
we served in our centers. The meals in the centers are served individually
and are plated, and our numbers at the centers range from 10 to 35 people, we would really
like to see those numbers grow. (Dawn) Ok so they can come to the center to
eat or they can also get home-delivered meals. If someone’s interested in those home-delivered
meals, do they just call the Office of Aging to find out more about that? (Kristi) Yes, they can call the aging office. (Dawn) And aside from the meals, what types
of activities do you offer at the center? You’ve got the meal piece of it, but there’s
also the social aspect. (Kristi) Right, yes. And each center is unique in the activities
that they offer. We each do a monthly calendar of activities
for the month, and we all offer blood pressure testing monthly. The Main St. center has an exercise class,
which is two days a week, and a tai chi class one day a week. We offer stroke screenings, flu shots, farmer’s
market vouchers, and a prize that helps with property tax and rent rebates. And the Main St. center is the biggest center
and is able to offer some activities that take more space. The Main St. center offers a public bingo,
which is held on Thursday mornings, and a public line dance once a month, and line dance
classes in the evenings once a week. All the centers do invite speakers in to tell
our consumers about different heath issues, also about proper nutrition. And a favorite activity is when the centers
invite entertainment in. Once a month Main St. center has games night,
where participants from all the centers are invited to come and play games and enjoy some
pizza. All the centers do do trips, some are day
trips and some are over-nighters. We all went to Phipps Conservatory in May
for Older Americans Month, and we do go to Cambridge Springs for dinner plays and casinos,
shopping, animal excursions, ball games and sometimes we go on picnics and outings and
we definitely try to stay active and keep participants involved in the centers. We often get together and do things together,
each center together. (Dawn) Yeah that’s wonderful. So lots of different types of activities to
meet different people’s interests, there’s something for everyone, great. So is there a cost to get the meals or participate
in the activities? (Kristi) Well there is no set cost for the
meals, and if the participant is able, we ask for a meal donation of $2. When we started, the donation was a quarter. Some of the donation envelopes came back with
buttons inside. And we also ask for a $2 donation to participate
in the exercise classes. The centers do fundraisers for their trips,
sometimes there’s an additional cost for those trips, and there’s always an additional cost
for the overnight trips. And the next overnight trip is to Cape Cod
in October, and we do have two buses going on that trip and it is for 7 days. (Dawn) Oh wow, well that sounds like a lot
of fun, great. (Kristi) And there’s still six seats open
if anybody was interested. (Dawn) Ok so they would just get ahold of
you at the center and find out more about that? (Kristi) Yes. (Dawn) Or stop in. Will all those different activities you have
going on, I was thinking when we were talking, you must have some volunteers that help make
these things possible. (Kristi) Yes, we do. (Dawn) So what are your opportunities for
volunteers at the center? (Kristi) Well, opportunities are a definite
yes. The Rimersburg and Main St. each have a kitchen
aide, but we definitely need help packing the meals and for cleanup. We need volunteers to help with activities
such as calling bingo, welcoming any newcomers, serving congregate meals, and of course wiping
of the tables and a large variety of other opportunities. We do have volunteers conducting exercise,
tai chi and line dance lessons. We also like volunteers to do programs on
where they have been, what they have done, and to show us some of their hobbies so we
can learn things from them. (Dawn) Yeah so if someone has a special talent
or different hobby they’d like to share, that would be something you’d love to have at the
center. And the people that come in enjoy learning
those different things? (Kristi) Yes. (Dawn) Great. What are some of the benefits that you see
for seniors who are actively involved in attending the center? (Kristi) Well some of the benefits are after
somebody may lose a spouse, or their friends or loved ones. It’s a time for them to come to the center,
just socialize and make new friends, and it’s wonderful help from keeping them from becoming
depressed. They get to enjoy visiting and hearing about
many subjects that they may not get to experience by sitting at home. And it’s the socializing along with the nutritious
meal and health benefits are some great reasons to attend. Just not to be alone, meet a new friend. (Dawn) Get out of your house, socialize. We see that a lot, when older adults stop
being active, and they kind of get into that isolation, where they’re just at their homes
by themselves, you have a lot of issues with anxiety, depression. (Kristi) Yeah, not good. (Dawn) So it’s really good to get out there
and try some new things to meet some new people, keep living your life, that’s what we have
to do. (Kristi) It’s nice to see the relationships
form. (Dawn) Right, some new friendships. So, a lot of exciting things going on there. If someone that’s listening would like some
more information, first, what is the phone number for the Main St. Center? (Kristi) The Main St. Center is 226-4194 and
we are open Tuesday through Friday from 8-3. Ok, and you’re right across from Daddy’s,
restaurant, pretty much, on Main St, on the corner there, so people can find you. Now, if they want more information abouty
the activities, that are going on, or the other centers, what’s the best way for them
to get that? (Kristi) Probably the best way for all the
centers is to call the Area Agency on Aging office, and that number is 814-226-4640, and
they’re open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. (Dawn) Ok, and do you share your menu or activities
any places that they can see that? (Kristi) The menu is the same for all the
centers. I know the Main St. center is run once a month
in the local Derrick, and weekly in the Clarion News. Each center has their own activity sheet,
which anybody can stop in to any center and pick one up. And they are located outside, so the public
can see them, on the bulletin board at the Main St. center. (Dawn) So even if they stop when it’s closed
they’ll be able to see it. (Kristi) Yes. And the phone numbers are also listed on those. (Dawn) Ok how about a website? (Kristi) The website is the www.clarionaging.com. (Dawn) Alright, so lots of ways people can
find out more information about the senior centers. Thank you very much for coming on today, Kristi
(Kristi) Thanks for having me Dawn. (Dawn) I learned some new things as well,
so it’s really good to know what all is offered at our senior centers in Clarion County. If you have any questions about what you heard
today, you can also give us a call at In Home Solutions and we’d be happy to find out more
information for you as well. Or if you have other topics you’d like to
hear about, again that number 226-4029 or you can email us at [email protected] This show will be shared in a couple of days
on our website, so if you missed part of it or you want to share it with someone else,
they’ll be able to hear that on our website at www.wrc.org. On our next show we’re going to be talking
about stress relief for caregivers, some tips and some natural things that you can do to
help with that, and our guest will be Claire Orner, who is from Quiet Creek Herb Farm and
School of Country Living in Brookville. She has some great information, that’s going
to be a really good show that she’ll be able to share with us. A little WRC news before I sign off today,
the In Home Solutions Clarion office is getting ready to move from our current location on
Main St. So on September 7th, we will be located in the Cricklewood Center, which is on South
Fifth Avenue, it’s 1008 S. 5th Avenue. We’ll be in Suite 104, so stop in and see
us in our new location. The nice thing about that office is it’s bigger
and has ample parking, so instead of worrying about the on-street parking and the parking
lot there, and you’ll be able to get in an out a lot easier. And also one last thing, if you want to check
out our Facebook group, if you are a caregiver, we have a support group online called Caregivers
Connect in Western Pennsylvania. So get on there and join that and check out
what resources are being shared. Thanks for tuning in today to Caregiver Connections
with WRC Senior Services.

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