Senior Active: Senior Companions

Published: Aug. 11, 2014 at 9:20 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2014 at 9:20 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The ladies who meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Bull Street Baptist Church share more than a giving spirit.

They are all Senior Companions participating in a partnership between Hospice of Savannah and Senior Citizens Inc. that provides the help some of our older neighbors who need it.

"They are filling some of the gaps,'' Jeanne O'Brien, of Senior Citizen's Inc., said of the companions who often help out caregivers. "They provide respite care for older adults who primarily are going to be homebound or attending a center and need extra assistance to participate in the activities.''

Between 20 and 40 hours a week, the senior companions are at clients' homes, offering care and company.

"I help prepare her breakfast and help her to the bathroom,'' said Angnetter Goode, a senior companion. "I tidy up her room and read her books and talk about stories. Whatever has to be done, we're the senior companions, we're there to help them.''

"My client loves music,'' added Joyce Kilcrease, "and I sing to her all the time.''

Sometimes, the companion's help most just by being there and spending time with their client.

"You have patients who don't have anybody,'' said Carrie Johnson, who became a senior companion shortly after relocating to Savannah. "And we're like part of the family when we come in and they really appreciate it.''

The senior companions get together once a month for mandatory training, but also to share experiences and thoughts on why they love what they do.

"Well, my mother was sick and I took care of her for many years,'' said Goode. "After she passed away, I decided to come volunteer.''

"Being a senior myself,'' added Kilcrease, "it gives me something to do instead of just laying around getting old and stiff.''

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