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City proclamation recognizes work of senior companions

City proclamation recognizes work of senior companions

Apr 12, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The Riverton City Council approved a resolution designating April 9, 2013, as the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.

Mayor Ron Warpness read the proclamation during the council's meeting April 2.

"The nation's mayors are increasingly turning to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to meet city needs," Warpness said. "National service expands economic opportunity by creating more sustainable, resilient communities and providing education, career skills and leadership abilities for those who serve."

He visited with a local group of volunteers with the Wyoming Senior Companion Program this week to present them with the proclamation. The SCP offers free services to frail adults over age 21 who need assistance to maintain their independence. Volunteers over age 55 assist the adults with simple tasks, providing companionship, shopping opportunities and letter writing help, encouraging exercise, giving medication reminders and nutrition assistance, doing some light housekeeping, accompanying their companions to appointments and informing them about available community services.

"You can make a difference in someone's life, especially shut-ins," SCP coordinator Barbara Dorn said. "You're the only contact they have. ... It's rewarding."

The companions are paid a small, non-taxable stipend, but volunteer Mamie Skiles said that the reward Dorn talked about is not monetary. Volunteer June Jaeger agreed.

"They look forward to us coming," Jaeger said of the people served through the companion program.

Warpness said the companions' work is valuable to the community.

"The human touch is really important," he said, commending other local volunteers as well. "All of the people who volunteer in our community (are) important. We couldn't afford to pay (for the services they provide)."

Dorn invited interested individuals to call her at 856-6880 for more information about the SCP. The program, which serves all counties in Wyoming, is nationally funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and by the Wyoming State Department of Health Senior Services Division and United Way.

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