Companionship Times Winter/Spring 2015 Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota It’s the Most Wonderful time of the year! Volume 26, Issue 1 Holiday gatherings: East and West Like the words of this timeless Christmas carol, the Senior Companion volunteers had a most wonderful time at the holiday events hosted by the program as a way to thank them for their selfless giving throughout the year. Throughout the state, companions and volunteer station supervisors always enjoy gathering and visiting with their friends and fellow companions during the holiday season. It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Turtle Mountain The Turtle Mountain volunteers all met at the beautiful Skydancer casino on November 25. We ate a wonderful meal at their buffet. Games and prizes and lots of laughter made the event even more fun for all. Michael Nelson was all the entertainment we needed. Sharing a laugh with, from left, Dennis LaFontaine (SC), Chris Thompson (SC), Michael Nelson (SC), Vera Onstad (SC) and Jolene Keplin (VSS helper). Bismarck/Mandan On November 19, Bismarck and Mandan gathered at the new Mandan Edgewood Vista where we were treated to a lovely meal and a tour of their beautiful facility. The whole group gathered again in February for their annual handbook review, lunch and Valentine’s goodies. From left: Tracy Delzer (VSS), Margie Geis (SC), Dorothy Glanville (SC), Norma Fuhrman (SC), Marline Ulmer (SC), Tammy Getz (VSS), Linda Weldon (SC), Bernice Sunde (SC), Fay Pitzer (SC), Minnie Rostad (SC), Evie Glasser (SC) and Mary Robinson (VSS). Williston & Trenton From left: Vera Onstad (SC), Jolene Keplin (VSS helper), Theresa Thomas (SC), Joyce Gerber (SC), Alma Charette (SC) and Donna Lunday St. Claire (VSS). Williston and Trenton’s holiday event was held January 14. Winter weather wasn’t going to slow us down this time and we were able to gather for pizza and fun! SC: Senior companion; VSS: Volunteer station supervisor Continued on page 2 Inside According to Donna Lunday St. Claire (VSS), story-telling is an integral part of the Native American experience, and Mike does it well! The group enjoyed his stories. www.lssnd.org • Bits From Becky—3 • Volunteer Spotlights—4 • Agency Happenings—5
Companionship Times  Winter Spring 2015   Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota   It   s the Most Wonderful time of the...
Hazen The Hazen ladies met on February 9 for more of a Valentine’s party, but we were happy that we could get together. Dickinson Dickinson’s holiday event was held November 17 at the Sunset Senior Center where we were served a turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. Fun games, prizes, laughter and holiday cheer were found during this most wonderful time of the year! Eastern North Dakota From left: Vi Bohrer (SC), Linda Oestreich, COA director, Courtney Morgan (new VSS), Doris Usselmann (SC). Minot Area This season’s eastern holiday parties took place in Devils Lake, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Lisbon, Park River, Steele, Valley City and Wahpeton. Travel weather was good, meaning each event took place as scheduled (that was a first!) and holiday cheer was everpresent in each community visited. Every holiday party was a little different, but all included one or more of the following: music, Bingo, prize drawings, word games, pizza, soups, story-telling and sweet treats. Lucky Andrea, Eastern Program Coordinator, got to experience them all! The View held the Minot area holiday event, which included McHenry County, Harvey, Turtle Lake and Bottineau. The volunteers enjoyed a nice meal and delightful musical guests, Joyce Alme and Marcy Witteman. Speakers from Senior Medicare Patrol, Apryl Davenport and Mary Carlson, spoke to the group about how to watch for fraud. Fargo - above Davies High Schoolers singing carols at the Fargo holiday party hosted at Ed Clapp Senior Center. Minot, McHenry Co., Turtle Lake, Harvey and Bottineau area SCs and VSS’ enjoying the holiday luncheon and festivities at The View. Marcy Witteman and Joyce Alme entertain the group. Page 2 Devils Lake - right From left: Andrea Lang, Mary Ann MacDonald (SC), Myron Freeman (SC) and Lola Freeman (SC). Apryl Davenport and Mary Carlson, speakers from the Senior Medicare Patrol. Wahpeton From left: Andrea Lang, Carol Osmundson (SC), Amy Schmaltz (VSS) and Shelley Tollefson (VSS). Companionship Times, Winter/Spring 2015
Hazen  The Hazen ladies met on February 9 for more of a Valentine   s party, but we were happy that we could get together....
Bits from Becky by Director Becky Telin We are inching closer to warmer spring weather. I, once again, spent a few days in Arizona playing golf! That should hold me until the courses open in Minot. Each year we take time to commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by asking volunteers to bring non-perishable food items to holiday parties across the state. This holiday season, we collected over 100 lbs. of food that was then distributed to local food pantries. Great Job! Next year let’s shoot for 200 lbs. Your donations are making a difference. In the past six months your contributions have paid for senior companion volunteers to travel over 110,700 miles to support North Dakota seniors who are lonely, homebound, isolated, frail or disabled. Without the financial support we would not be able to reach many of the rural areas in the state. Thank you! In the first six months of the program’s fiscal year (July December 2014) there were 111 Senior Companion volunteers that spent over 39,000 hours supporting older adults remain living independently in their homes. We have 41 volunteer stations that have matched 609 older adult clients with a companion. Of those total numbers, there were 12 senior companions that served 5,390 hours supporting 50 older adult clients living on North Dakota’s Indian reservations: Trenton Sonja’s Shenanigans Indian Service Area, Fort Berthold, Turtle Mountain, Spirit Lake and Standing Rock. We are gearing up for our annual spring recognitions. It is our favorite time of year as we get to formally “thank you” and celebrate how you make the program a success! Volunteers, Station Supervisors, and Advisory Council members you are great and we look forward to seeing you at the event nearest you! It’s springtime, and you know what that means... time for Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions to mail program satisfaction surveys to clients, volunteers and station supervisors for completion. This is one vital way we measure how our program is doing at meeting its goals. Results are used to show our funders and communities just how impactful the program is on North Dakota’s senior population. Surveys will be sent out in May 2015 and should be returned within 30 days. Thank you for taking time to share your feedback with us! It goes a long way. As always, we are recruiting new volunteers and stations throughout the state. If someone you know might be a good fit to provide service to the program, please let us know! Word of mouth is the best advertisement out there and we appreciate you helping us grow! If you know someone who might be interested in being a Senior Companion please call 1-800-450-1510. Because of the reprieve in the weather, I have been able to travel extensively throughout western North Dakota and meet with new volunteers and new station supervisors, potential stations and groups that want to hear about our program. I love hearing YOUR stories and how much this program means to you! And, your hugs are a special bonus! Sonja is one of the “Faces of LSSND,” which will After almost nine years (this May!) with the program, it’s still exciting to me to be an ambassador for the Senior Companions and to continue to build the program. I’ve also gotten to meet with most of the Western companions during handbook reviews this winter. I am proud of the work we (we can’t do it without our volunteers!) do to help keep people in their homes longer. It’s an awesome program! I can’t wait to see you all again at the recognitions! by Sonja Mickelson, Western ND Coordinator, Minot We have been blessed with a mild winter, which has made it easier to get around the state this season. Companionship Times, Winter/Spring 2015 be appearing in locations around the state. Page 3
Bits from Becky by Director Becky Telin  We are inching closer to warmer spring weather. I, once again, spent a few days i...
“It’s a good thing all around” By Michael Stein, LSSND Communications forward to every one of those days. It gets me out of the house. I’ve learned so much about being patient and listening better.” Imagine waking up one day in an empty house—one that was once filled with the laughter of your children and the companionship of a spouse. But now your children have grown up and moved away; your spouse has passed on. You continually worry about losing your independence. This is an all too common scenario for many North Dakota seniors. But help and hope is available. Listening is possibly one of the best things senior companions can do with their clients. “I believe they’re in a better mood after I arrive,” Dorothy added. “And the feeling is mutual.” Minnie Rostad and Dorothy Glanville Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions is a program in which seniors help seniors live independently. While dedicated senior companions like Dorothy Glanville and Minnie Rostad of Bismarck receive a stipend and other benefits, their reasons for becoming and remaining volunteers go well beyond financial rewards. “It was shortly after my husband passed away that Minnie, a senior companion at that time, suggested I try it out,” Dorothy said. “It sounded like something I’d enjoy, and here I am 20 years later, still a senior companion. I dearly love it!” Minnie, who recently celebrated 22 years as a senior companion, visits 10 to 12 clients a week at Edgewood Vista in Bismarck. “I enjoy each and every one of the people I see,” Minnie said. “One of the things I enjoy the most is reminiscing with them. I love to hear them talk about their former lives.” Dorothy, who works with clients four days a week out of the Burleigh County Senior Adult Program, said, “I look “Most of the people I see still have an interest in what’s going on in the world,” Minnie said. “I often read the paper to some who no longer see well enough to read.” Both Dorothy and Minnie plan to keep going as senior companions as long as they can. “They wait for me to come,” Minnie added. “If I take a day off, I’ll see them the next day and they ask, ‘where were you yesterday?’” “I live alone,” Dorothy said. “And the people I visit have become like family to me—so it’s a good thing all around.” STAFF SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON: Gail Patterson, Minot Office The first smiling face you meet when you walk through the door of the Lutheran Social Services Minot Program Center is Gail Patterson, office coordinator. And, that first friendly voice you hear when you call - it’s Gail! Gail has been the office coordinator for the Minot Program Center for the past eight years and it’s her responsibility to maintain the office professionally and efficiently. But Gail also wears another hat on the job as she keeps the Senior Page 4 Companion files and paperwork in order, which keeps our work area organized and efficient. Gail Patterson Many SCP volunteers ask us to greet Gail by name and thank her for helping them with their questions. We appreciate Gail’s willingness to work on program projects at a moment’s notice. Gail and her husband, Joe, live in Minot and have two daughters and six grandchildren who live nearby, which keeps Grandma Gail happily busy on her days off. Companionship Times, Winter/Spring 2015
   It   s a good thing all around    By Michael Stein, LSSND Communications  forward to every one of those days. It gets m...
Agency Happenings Andrea’s Anecdotes by Andrea Lang, Eastern ND Coordinator, Fargo The new Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota headquarters, “The Center for Healing, Help and Hope,” opened March 16 at 3911 20th Avenue South in Fargo. Thomasson named new CEO Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota welcomes new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jessica Thomasson! She transitioned into the position on December 1, 2014 following Robert Sanderson’s retirement. Jessica previously served the agency as Vice President of Social Entrepreneurship and Director of LSS Housing. We are proud to be working under her talent and leadership. Dykshoorn named VP For Senior Services We are excited to announce Shirley Dykshoorn has been named as the Vice President for Senior Services at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. In addition to continuing to serve her existing role with Lutheran Disaster Response, she has assumed several new program areas including Senior Strategy, Senior Companions and New Americans. Shirley said, “Having worked with seniors while even in high school at a nursing home, to taking classes in gerontology and working with senior groups throughout my career, I always have valued the wisdom, experiences and gifts that the older generation brings to our lives. I treasure those experiences growing up as well and hope that our senior services programs grow and impact the state in many ways going forward.” Companionship Times, Winter/Spring 2015 My bet is that both Sonja and Becky will write something about the weather in their columns. So, I am going to be “original” and avoid the topic... other than to say right now, I am writing to you from my desk on a warm, sunny and recordsetting temperature kind of day and really look forward to lacing up my walking shoes when I get home! As you see on this page, the Fargo program office has moved into its new home in south Fargo! You can even wave to me on your way through town as we are located on the bend of the I-29/I-94 interchange. I look forward to having a brand new space with a second story view. These past few months have brought many wonderful things to Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions. Volunteer and client enrollment has been steady and I am confident we will expand to a few new areas of the state in 2015. It just seems like there has been a little extra “buzz” about the program lately. We like it! The agency also has new oversight with the promotion of Shirley Dykshoorn to Vice President of Senior Services and Jessica Thomasson to CEO. Wow, “new” truly is the theme in this edition. New space, new faces and new communities served. Change is good! These are fun and exciting times for the agency and program. I feel blessed to be a part of it and have all of you along to witness the magnificence! Thank you for the joy that you bring to my job every day and for sticking with us. I think 2015 is going to be our best year yet! We still have SC Cookbooks! We have less than 20 copies left of our program cookbook, “Senior Companions: From our Hearts to Your Kitchen.” If you or a friend would like to order one of the remaining copies, please contact us today because once they are gone... they are gone! Thanks for making the cookbook venture such a huge success! Page 5
Agency Happenings  Andrea   s Anecdotes by Andrea Lang, Eastern ND Coordinator, Fargo  The new Lutheran Social Services of...
Welcome! New Senior Companions Eleven new Senior Companions joined the program from September 2014 – February 2015. They include: Jean Beckmann (Moorhead, MN) Dal Bahadur Gurung (Grand Forks) Sue Hall (Minot) Sandra Hartje (Grafton) Betty Jo Hvistendahl (Ellendale) Shirley Koffler (Dickinson) Freyja LaFrombois (Fargo) Indra Maya Rai (Grand Forks) Khagendra Siwakoli (Fargo) Leslie Voeller (West Fargo) Linda Weldon (Bismarck) Welcome New Volunteer Stations (September 2014 - February 2015): Ellendale Senior Center Peggy Worthy, Volunteer Station Supervisor Welcome New Volunteer Station Supervisors! Melanie Maslow Fargo Housing & Redevelopment Authority Lashkowitz High Rise, New Horizons Manor and Pioneer Manor Courtney Morgan Mercer/McLean County Commission on Aging Amy Schmaltz Valley Senior Services of Richland County Sincere thanks to the following individuals and organizations for their funding and in-kind support (September 2014 - February 2015): Thank you to these financial supporters Bethel Lutheran Foundation • Corporation for National and Community Services • Ecolab Grand Forks • Nellie Svee • North Dakota Department of Human Services - Aging Division • South Central Adult Services • St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation • Valley Senior Services Thank you to these United Ways across North Dakota Basin United Way • Jamestown United Way • Missouri Slope Area-Wide United Way • Souris Valley United Way United Way of Barnes County • United Way of Cass-Clay • United Way of Dickinson, Inc. United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & area Thank you to these donors for their individual gifts made to Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions during the past six months: Peggy Bearce, Williston • William Engen, Anamoose • Dorothy Heinze, Dazey • Clara Kost, Ashley Myrna Leininger, Valley City • Rose Lindgren, Kulm • Evelyn Neumann, Valley City • Robert Sanderson, Fargo Harold Schlenker, Ashley • Eve K. Schonauer, Jamestown • Trinity Lutheran WELCA, Turtle Lake United Methodist Women, Tappen We are always looking for new clients and volunteers! If you know a senior from any of the following communities that would benefit from providing or receiving Senior Companion services, please contact a program coordinator today. Senior Companions needed in: Ashley, Bismarck, Bottineau, Cavalier, Carrington, Dickinson, Glenburn, Grand Forks, Minot, New Town, Rugby, Spirit Lake Nation, Trenton, Turtle Lake, Valley City and Williston Clients: Bismarck, Bottineau, Cooperstown, Ellendale, Glenburn, Jamestown, Minot, Oakes, Trenton and Williston Page 6 Companionship Times, Winter/Spring 2015
Welcome   New Senior Companions  Eleven new Senior Companions joined the program from September 2014     February 2015. Th...
YES! I would like to support Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions! www.lssnd.org Office Locations Minot—Main Office 1905 2nd St. SE—Suite 1B Minot, ND 58701 Phone: (701) 838-7800 Seniors age 55+ who are healthy, active and interested in helping their aging neighbors, are cordially invited to volunteer with Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions Senior companions provide homebound seniors with companionship, social recreation and assistance with daily living activities so they can remain living independently and safely in their homes for as long as possible. The program also provides respite for caregivers who need a temporary break from their daily caregiving responsibilities. 3911 20th Ave. S. Fargo, ND 58103 Phone: (701) 271-3247 (800) 450-1510 The benefits to volunteering as a senior companion include a tax-free hourly stipend, travel reimbursement, paid holidays, paid time off, ongoing training opportunities and supplemental insurance coverage while on assignment. Most importantly, senior companions benefit by making a positive difference in the lives of other seniors in their community. Senior Companions Program Staff If you are 55 years of age or older, of lower income and available to volunteer at least 15 hours per week, contact a program coordinator at 800-450-1510 (Fargo) or 701-838-7800 (Minot) for more information about becoming a senior companion volunteer. Fargo Office Becky Telin Program Director btelin@lssnd.org Andrea Lang Program Coordinator—East (Fargo) alang@lssnd.org Sonja Mickelson Program Coordinator—West (Minot) smickelson@lssnd.org Gail Patterson Program Assistant—Minot gpatterson@lssnd.org Peggy Bearce Program Assistant—Williston pbearce@lssnd.org Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions provides free in-home services for more than 700 seniors across North Dakota. Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is a nonprofit social services agency serving thousands of North Dakotans with affordable housing, food, disaster response, counseling and therapy and other social services. Established in 1919, Lutheran Social Services serves clients without regard to race, religion, gender or economic status. You can help support Senior Companions Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions is funded by contributions and through state and federal grants. Your tax-deductible contribution will be used to enhance and expand the program services in North Dakota and your community. Our Mission: Guided by God’s love and grace Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota brings healing, help and hope. Companionship Times, Winter/Spring 2015 Use the attached remittance envelope to make a gift; or call 800-450-1510 for more information. Thank you for your support! Page 7
YES   I would like to support Lutheran Social Services Senior Companions   www.lssnd.org Office Locations Minot   Main Off...
www.lssnd.org Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 1071 Fargo, ND Lutheran Social Services of ND 3911 20th Ave. S. Fargo, ND 58103 The Joy of Being a Senior Companion ion. “I love being a Senior Compan lk away Gives me an excuse to wa es from my everyday chores. Giv door. me joy to be greeted at the Love to see what they do for pastime. es I Quilting is top past-time. At tim to get to help. Or they are ready it about play a game, at times, vis days gone by and families. “I have been a Senior Compan ion now for 15 months and every day is not the same. I hear my clients say at the end of the sessions with me, ‘Wi ll we see you on Tuesday or Wedne sday or Friday? We will miss you and do miss you when you are gone or can ’t come.’ This is such a comfort to me and when I say ‘You betcha I will be bac k’ and their eyes light up and faces and smile. small Other times, there might be a ting, do favor to be done like dus ies. I dishes, mail letters, get grocer love what I do.” These dear people, so many of them, have only you and me to wait for the fulfillment of their days. May we as Senior Companions live out our dreams and theirs by helping others see a light at the end of the tun nel.” June Schauer (SC), Ashley, ND Phyllis Austin (SC), West Fargo, ND
www.lssnd.org  Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 1071 Fargo, ND  Lutheran Social Services of ND 3911 20th Ave. S...