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DHS News June 2012 | PDF Icon DHS News June 2012

Senior Companions Make a Difference

On Friday, June 8, the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) held its 38th Annual Recognition Luncheon for the Senior Companion Program. The event, which took place this year at the Westin Convention Center, honors those individuals who have given their time to be senior companions, providing needed care and comfort to nearly 500 isolated older adults in Allegheny County. 

The Senior Companion Program works to improve the quality of life for individuals and their caregivers by providing human interaction through weekly visitations. Senior companions can offer company and friendly conversation for older adults, while relieving some stress on family members.

“Senior companions provide a break to caregivers and loved ones, allowing them to run errands or just have an hour to themselves,” said Mildred Morrison, AAA Administrator, in her address at the luncheon. “But just as importantly, through regular visits, the senior companion is that informed eye who is able to point out problems to family members and others.”

Currently, there are just over 100 senior companions, covering all parts of the county. The annual luncheon is an opportunity to bring many of them together and thank them for their participation. In addition to recognizing years of service, the organization also presents a Senior Companion of the Year award. This year’s honoree, Fred Hirosky, was praised for, among other things, the hand-written poetry that he often gives to the individuals he is visiting.

The Senior Companion program is currently looking for new volunteers. To learn more about it, contact John Miller, Project Coordinator for the Senior Companion Program, at John.Miller@AlleghenyCounty.US, or 412.350.4061.

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