Put a shine on someone’s golden years | PostIndependent.com

Put a shine on someone’s golden years

Greg Masse

Sometimes older people’s golden years can get lonely, especially when no family members live nearby.

So, as a way to bring some smiles and sunshine to the senior citizens who live at Glen Valley Care Center, activities coordinator Rose Trujeque is borrowing from a program started by the Lakota Sioux Indian tribe. Their program is called Adopt-A-Grandparent.

“I decided that since that program was basically for Lakota Indians, we’d come up with our own program,” she said. “So we’re calling ours the Grandparent Connection.”

The idea is to find volunteers who are willing to spend at least a couple of hours a week with their pseudo grandparent. The volunteers can join in with activities that happen at Glen Valley Care Center, or they can think up activities to do outside the center.

“We have a lot of people here who don’t have family close by and we just need someone who will spend some time with them,” Trujeque explained. “A lot don’t have hobbies or can’t see well enough to play games, so they just would like someone to visit with.”

Some of the activities a volunteer could partake in at the center include playing bingo and other games, reading to their adopted grandparent, eating with them or attending church services.

But Trujeque said the opportunities are by no means limited to the confines of the center.

“Volunteers can take them on an outing or out to dinner,” she said, adding that many of the residents have a vast knowledge of the history of many areas in and around the Roaring Fork Valley.

“You could take them for a ride and just listen,” she said.

In all, there are 42 people at Glen Valley, and Trujeque says about half of them don’t have regular visitors.

“They could all use another person or two. Basically, they just love to visit, if we can keep them awake,” she joked as one resident slumbered nearby.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the program is encouraged to attend an orientation meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Glen Valley Care Center, 2035 Blake Ave., in Glenwood Springs. Trujeque said she’s hoping at least 50 people sign up for the program.

“It’s just to have people come in and find out what volunteering is all about,” she said.

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