Fern Price has been participating in the Blair County Senior Olympics, hosted by Blair Senior Services, Inc., since 2001. An avid lover of sports his entire life, Fern decided the Senior Olympics was the perfect opportunity for him.
After a few years of participating, Fern decided to become a volunteer and chair several events for the Senior Olympics. “I’ve chaired multiple events in my time with the Senior Olympics, but most recently I’ve chaired the Homerun Derby, Archery, Shuffleboard, and the Bean Bag Toss,” shared Fern.
Fern’s main responsibility as a Chairperson is to monitor the safety of the individuals participating, the weather, and keeping score of the events. To Fern, the most important part of the games are the people. “I come back to the games each year because of the people,” said Fern. “It’s not about the medals you win… it’s the people that you meet. There are so many nice people in the Senior Olympics.”
Fern also shared that being a chairperson has allowed him to see many people’s success. “It’s so much fun to see somebody come in as a newcomer, and then you see how happy they are to still hit a ball at their age… it just makes your day!” Fern explained.
“My advice to anyone who is curious about the Senior Olympics is to go for it! You’re not going to be disappointed with the things that you do or the wonderful people you will meet,” Fern shared.
For more information on the 2020 Blair County Senior Olympics, please visit www.blairsenior.org or call Chelsey Rhodes at (814) 946-1235.
Theresa Williams has been a volunteer at Blair Senior Services, Inc. for 6 years as a Senior Companion.
Theresa, who was forced into retirement after an injury, started to feel like she needed something else and wanted to supplement her income. “After a few years, I had some boredom and wanted to do something else. I enjoy taking care of people so the Senior Companion Program was perfect for me,” she said.
As a Senior Companion, Theresa assists consumers by providing assistance around the home, sharing in conversation about past memories, or even attending social events together.
“I enjoy being a Senior Companion because I enjoy building those relationships,” Theresa said. “I love being able to make them laugh and to see that I am making a difference in their day.”
Along with all of the other companionship roles, Theresa can also provide transportation when needed for her consumers. “I always enjoy taking them grocery shopping. I think it’s fun to take them out to the store, and it’s nice to see them getting out. We always have a lot of fun,” Theresa commented.
Along with being a Senior Companion, Theresa also works as a Certified Nurses Aid (CNA) at Hillview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and assists with activities and breakfast at Allegany Lutheran Social Ministries (ALSM) for the residents. She is also a family caregiver, taking care of her mother full-time.
“I’m a very busy person, so my time with my clients through the Senior Companion Program is really helpful to me. It’s very relaxing,” she said. “It lets me press pause on my day to really focus on the clients and assisting them.”
Along with the relaxation, Theresa feels with being a Senior Companion, she’s also found a second family. “My clients have become like a second family to me. There are some that I just have a great relationship with and we share so many things together,” she shared.
Above all, Theresa enjoys the rewarding aspects of her role the most. “It’s very rewarding to be there for people and to help them with every day things,” she stated. “I never would’ve pictured myself doing something that I love so much. Blair Senior Services has really helped me along the way and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
If you are interested in volunteering for Blair Senior Services, Inc.’s Senior Companion Program, please call 814-946-1235.
Wednesdays and Fridays are special days for the individuals from the Vocational Training Industries of Skills of Central Pennsylvania who volunteer their time to deliver nutritious meals to Blair County residents, age 60 and older, who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. For over twenty years, Blair Senior Services, Inc.’s Home Delivered Meals Program has counted on this group of dedicated volunteers to help fulfill this very important need and they always do it with a smile.
Mary Camber, Production Supervisor with Vocational Training Industries of Skill of Central PA, says their people like the interaction with the Home Delivered Meals consumers. Eight members of the Skills team volunteer every month on a six-month rotation. This gives everyone a chance to participate.
“Our volunteers love to help people. It makes them feel good that they are making a positive difference. They come to know the consumers and think of them as friends”, shared Camber. “The Home Delivered Meals Program provides opportunities for them to get out and meet people in the community while learning new skills.”
The experience the Skills individuals receive through the Home Delivered Meals Program helps them gain confidence and preparation for future employment. Blair Senior Services, Inc. sends a very sincere thank you to all of the Skills volunteers!
If you are interested in volunteering with or receiving Home Delivered Meals, please call