Senior Service Alliance presents plans for Sampson

By: By Chase Jordan -

With goals to make life better for seniors, service providers are ready for 2018. Some of the plans include volunteer recruitment and countywide celebrations.

Member of the Senior Services Alliance held another meeting Tuesday morning at Liberty HomeCare & Hospice Services. The group was formed in 2017 for professionals who provide support for seniors.

Meredith Keipper, liaison for Liberty Home Care & Hospice Services, reported that the organization is looking for volunteers to spend time with patients and do things such as reading scriptures or other activities. It was also suggested to host workshops and classes to help people and families when they’re dealing with illness or medical situations.

“It’s a difficult situation as you can imagine,” Keipper said.

Officials from the Sampson County Department of Aging are preparing for Older Americans Month in May. In 2017, the organization hosted a month-long observance with a variety of workshops and events. One of the biggest events is a senior celebration in Garland. Lesia Henderson, family caregiver and support specialist, is looking forward to the event.

“That population is tremendous,” Henderson said while showing praise for the seniors. “They need to be honored.”

Marie Faircloth, of the Department of Aging and director of the Garland Senior Center, and other associates provides a variety of services in the area. Some include health education, games and computer classes in the spring and fall. Volunteers are needed for the success of the program.

“We love the program and we love our volunteers,” Faircloth said. “If we didn’t have volunteers, we couldn’t do the program.”

Faircloth said volunteers are needed to deliver meals in Clinton. During the week, volunteers meet at the Butler Court Senior Center. She expressed how spending a little time and checking on the well-being is another part of the process. Some of it may include reading, listening to music or just talking.

“If you don’t have anything to do … volunteer,” Faircloth said.

Susan McUmber, director of Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center at Sampson Regional Medical Center, expressed the importance of spreading awareness throughout the community.

“If we can create more opportunities by word of mouth, that’s what we would like to do,” McUmber said.

McUmber collaborated with Henderson to start Senior Services Alliance and provide networking opportunities. While discussing services such as the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which heals chronic wounds, she said that plans are in the works for National Diabetes Awareness Month in November.

During the meeting, participants included Melissa Reese, a community relations specialist for Eastpointe; Allison Garzo, Therapeutic Alternatives; and Sydney Bowen, Mary Gran Nursing Center.

The next meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Mary Gran Nursing Center, 120 Southwood Drive, Clinton. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month and usually last about an hour to accommodate work schedules.

For more information, contact Henderson at 910-592-4653 or McUmber at 910-596-6100.

Members of the Senior Services Alliance discuss ways to help local seniors. of the Senior Services Alliance discuss ways to help local seniors.

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.