2013-05-30 / Lifestyles

Senior Center

Yahooo! My youngest daughter, Stephanie, once again made me a new grandmother. We welcomed Reese Marie on May 22, 2013. She weighed 7 pounds, 6.3 ounces and was 19 inches long. And she is absolutely beautiful! To be part of such a miracle! Congratulations to Ben, Steph and big brother Brock. Oh, so close to landing on her auntie’s birthday. A great big happy belated birthday to my oldest daughter, Jennifer, whose birthday was May 25.

As many of you know, we use volunteer drivers for our long-distance medical transportation program. These drivers put in countless hours and only receive 0.56.50 in mileage. Hats off to each and every driver. We are always open to adding to our list. If you are interested in volunteering for a very good program, call the Center at 341-5923 and we will gladly go over all the requirements. What better way to earn some extra money, and assist those who are unable to drive to their medical appointments at the same time.

We not only use volunteers for our program, but the Upper Peninsula Health Plan does also. They have contacted the Center requesting help with finding drivers, as they only have one person signed up as of today. They have the same requirements as us:

• Valid Michigan driver’s license

• Their own vehicle (In good running condition)

• Current auto insurance and registration

• Back ground check (Completed by whatever program you are signing up for.)

Trips may be local or long distance for the Upper Peninsula Health Plan, whereas our program is for long-distances. (Germfask into Manistique rides to Escanaba, Marquette, etc.) Both programs reimburse for mileage to and from the destination. The Upper Peninsula

Health Plan pays mileage which is determined and adjusted based on the quarterly average of statewide gas prices. It varies from .40 cents to .55 cents per mile. Paperwork must be turned in within 10 days of a trip in order to get reimbursed.

The process is as follows:

• You will receive a telephone call from the agency looking for a driver to transport a client. You will get all the information, date, time, location, etc.

• You have the choice to accept the run or deny it. Don’t feel bad when you cannot take a ride, as both programs will work off of their list and call the next person in line.

• If accepting the ride, you will be required to call the client and confirm pick up time, confirm the address and directions.

• Use your best judgment when weather and road conditions are poor. Call the office if you feel you need to cancel.

• Use of seatbelts is a must.

• Make sure all the paperwork is filled out properly and you have gotten the signatures necessary to get reimbursed for your trip.

• Be patient and wait for reimbursement.

• Wait for your next telephone call requesting another run.

The Upper Peninsula Health Plan Volunteer Transporters also receive reimbursement for meals (at least one per trip), whereas our program does not. You are welcome to offer to buy a meal as an act of kindness, but it is not required.

The other difference in the two programs is if you accept to do an overnight trip, the Upper Peninsula Health Plan reimburses for lodging. The Commission on Aging, which is us, requires the client to pay for the stay.

You are welcome to sign up for one program or both. To become a volunteer driver for the senior center (Commission on Aging) call 341-5923. To drive for the Upper Peninsula Health Plan Program, call (906) 225-7500, ask for Pat, and let her know of your interest.

If you are looking to volunteer in the community in another way, one of my recommendations would be to become a hospice volunteer. I have been a volunteer for 19 years this coming June. Volunteer hospice caregivers spend time in the home of terminally ill patients. Often, they are asked by the patient’s primary caregivers to stay with the patient so that the caregiver can have a break or respite. Once in a while the caregiver prefers to just sit and visit with the volunteer. Volunteers might be asked to do light housekeeping, meal preparation, etc.

Hospice volunteers are a special person who willingly gives of their own time to provide company and comfort to someone who has a lifelimiting illness. I have often been approached with several mentioning they don’t know if they could be this kind of a volunteer. My answer is “It is one of the most rewarding volunteering a person could do.” I can’t begin to tell you how much the family appreciates that extra support at such a trying time in their lives.

We know how important volunteers are, as we couldn’t do what we do at the Center without our volunteers. Volunteers can be found sitting on our two boards (Manistique Senior Center and Schoolcraft County Commission on Aging), preparing for potlucks, decorating the Center, making and donating gift give a ways, preparing the monthly newsletter for mailing, donating quilts, behind the scenes checking on prices, making purchases, assisting with decision making, you name it. I could go on and on. Hat’s off to each and every one of our volunteers. If you give one half hour or work a whole day, you are a special part of the Center.

According to databank USA, the estimated dollar value of a volunteer in Michigan is $19.79 per hour. Woohoooo!

Our military packages received donations from Judy McEachern and Cathy Wise. Rhubarb was given by Grant and Ruth Taylor.

BRIDGE May 20: 1st-Helen Barton, 2nd-Eileen St. Onge, 3rd- Audrey Savoie, 4th-Hanna Mammen and Joyce LaTulip, CFC-Nancy Brown. Hostess, Pat Flint.

BRIDGE May 24: 1st-Larry Savoie, 2nd-eileen St. Onge, 3rd- George Lowman, 4th-Lois Bellville, CFC-Mary Ann thorell. Hostess, Mary Lou Marx.

PINOCHLE May 22: 1st-Chris Keener, 2nd-Bill Keener, 3rd-Don’a Nelson, Should’a Stayed Home- Carl Sundling.

500 May 24: 1st-Chris Keener, 2nd-Don’a Nelson, 3rd-Cathy Wise, Should’a Stayed Home-Sheila Haskins.

Birthdays this week: June 1-Eileen Ruth and Jim Tufnell, June 3-Pamm Tallman, June 4-Sharon Fish, June 5-Carol Leny and Kim Jones. Happy birthday wishes to all!

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