Small Towns are Like Family

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Older adult receiving a home delivered meal.

“I can honestly say, I’ve held different jobs in my lifetime and this is the most meaningful. When you work with seniors, they get to be like family — like your grandparents or mom and dad,” said Carole DeMars, LSS Senior Dining Assistant Director. “You become so close. Sometimes, we are able to pick up on changes in their health sooner than their families. We become their eyes and ears and notice if their mother or father is starting to become more frail or forgetful.”

In the charming town of Warren, population 1,563, people know one another and the community feels like a big family. It’s the kind of place that brings out the best in everyone.

When someone notices that an older resident with dementia is walking down the street alone, people in town call his family to see they can help by picking him up and running him home. People in Warren love their town and it shows. There is also an active community of seniors that take delight in helping others.

Liz Yeado, an excellent driver at age 94, helps to get meals ready at the senior center and often delivers them around town as a volunteer with Lutheran Social Service’s Senior Nutrition Program. Charles East is on her route. He likes the meals and visits so well, he waits at the front door for Liz to arrive!

At the senior center, about 25 seniors gather for lunch to catch up on each other and the latest town news. Marlene Sommers, age 81, a church organist for 60 years, plays piano as people arrive for lunch. On Wednesdays, exercise class for a lively group of inspired seniors is abuzz with chatter, stretching and giggles as friends banter back and forth.

Most importantly, Senior Nutrition is at work to keep people healthy and active so they can live satisfying, purpose-filled lives and remain in their homes where they want to be.

“We are very proud of our town. It’s a great community. We really do watch out for each other,” Carole said.