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A new collaboration expands access to services for area seniors PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 14:16
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Retirement does not equal life in the slow lane for Fountain Inn residents.

altSeniors in Fountain Inn have long found ample opportunities at the Fountain Inn Activities Center, but a new program opens the door to those who have been unable to participate due to a lack of transportation.

Senior Action’s lunch program has long provided a meal for seniors, but Kathy Russ, director of people and programs for Senior Action, said a natural partnership will pool resources to make life even better for those she serves.

“Senior Action has had a relationship with Fountain Inn for a long time,” she said. “We wanted to grow the (lunch) program and in order to do that we needed to provide some interesting activities.”

While the activities center offers a wide variety of programs, Senior Action has the means to transport seniors to the center and provide them with a meal.

Based upon the needs of local seniors and their participation in the center’s activities, breakfast will now be offered instead of lunch, giving residents the chance to be picked up in the morning, arrive at the center for food, exercise and other activities, and then be returned home.

“Seniors do not have to pay for this breakfast,” Russ said. “It’s a well-balanced, hot breakfast every day. If they need a ride, they can be picked up at their homes, brought to the center and taken back.”

It was a perfect match.

“What we are funded to provide is food and transportation and what the center is funded to provide is the facility and activities,” Russ said.

Nicole Slattery, senior adult activities coordinator for the Fountain Inn Activities Center, said seniors can choose from a wide variety of offerings, including exercise classes, yoga, trips and special interest programs.

“We do a lunch and learn,” Slattery said. “We have lunch together, either at the center or we go out, and we learn something new.”

Classes are often taught by seniors and have recently included such varied topics as making peanut brittle, creating bows for floral design and crafting sand dollar art.

Trips include overnight excursions and day trips, such as Hatcher Gardens in Spartanburg.

“It depends on what the seniors want,” Slattery said.

But for those who travel with the group overnight, Slattery usually cooks up something special.

“We love to do little surprises,” she said. “This last trip, we went go-cart racing. They had a blast.”

A senior adult choir remains very active at the center, practicing weekly and performing monthly at local nursing homes.

Slattery is most proud of the volunteerism she finds among the seniors. They support a number of projects, including holding a prom each year for those served by the Piedmont Skills program.

“The senior adults here are so great about volunteering,” Slattery said. “We are really fortunate to have such good people.”

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