Hendricks County Senior Services – Towne Post Network
Hendricks County Senior Services helps a variety of demographic groups
Screenwriter / Christy Heitger-Ewing
When Helee Adkins’ neighbor died, the family of the deceased invited Adkins to show them a giant photo album filled with wonderful memories, many of which involved Hendricks County Senior Services (HCSS) and the Hendricks County Senior Center, which is operated by HCSS . Adkins, the Resource Development Coordinator for HCSS, had become great friends with the deceased man as well as his late wife. They were both in their mid-90s when they passed away, and Adkins was thrilled the Senior Center had become their second home.
“In their younger years, he was a DJ at the Center and she was a line dance instructor,” Adkins says. “Flip through this photo album, it was clear how many lives we have touched over the years.”
HCSS, which opened in 1978, is dedicated to helping seniors stay independent in the home of their choice. Some people who hear the word “elder” imagine a weak, frail, confused or incapable person. The truth is that the definition of “senior” is relative.
“We have active seniors of all ages,” says Adkins. “For example, we have those who are eager to go on the Alaskan cruise that we are coordinating. We also serve people who need help with transportation, exercise, and meals.
The common thread is to ensure that people aged 60 and over do not live in isolation. Adkins describes HCSS as a giant crucible.
“There’s a place where everyone can find what they love to do and enjoy doing it with others,” Adkins says.
The Senior Center offers health screenings, lunches, and fitness classes such as chair yoga and line dancing. There are also recreational activities such as crafts, bingo, cards and wood carving. There are also educational programs including seminars, support groups, and workshops, in addition to social opportunities ranging from morning coffee to week-long trips. This year, in addition to the Alaska cruise, they are planning excursions to Charleston, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee. In the past they have been in Maine and Branson, Missouri. All trips are planned by the activity coordinator, relieving seniors of worrying about the details of driving, booking accommodation and planning entertainment.
“That’s awesome,” Adkins says. “You pay the amount and you don’t have to think about it anymore.”
For those newly retired, single or widowed, the Senior Center is a great resource to help them continue living a fun and fulfilling life. The HCSS is also a resource for caregivers.
“A lot of times, until you’re placed in a caregiver situation, you don’t know what you need,” Adkins says. “We support caregivers who help their loved ones through the aging process. »
It is not uncommon for older parents to visit their children during the holidays, and during this visit their children may notice changes in their cognitive or physical abilities.
“They see these changes and don’t know where to start or how to get help,” says Adkins, who oversees a Friends dementia workshop at the Senior Center where she shares the difference between normal aging and dementia. “We can listen and provide suggestions on what to do or where to go to get resources. Dementia is a group of symptoms that affect memory and thinking. People are confused by this because they think dementia is the disease. The disease is actually referred to as Alzheimer’s, vascular or Lewy body dementia.
“I teach how to best communicate with someone who has a dementia-related illness,” she continues. “We work hard to help make Hendricks County dementia-friendly, so we also offer private lessons for businesses and organizations looking to provide ongoing training for their employees.”
Several years ago, the Community Foundation conducted a community needs assessment of Hendricks County. According to the study, the number of people 65 and older in Hendricks County is expected to increase 18% between 2020 and 2025, which is significantly higher than the 3% increase projected for the total population of Indiana. . Seniors flock to Hendricks County, and there are many reasons why, including affordable taxes, great housing options, proximity to top-notch health care, and access to wonderful recreation and health options. fitness, parks and trail systems.
HCSS membership is $55 per year, per person (plus it’s a tax-deductible donation). This allows members to participate in activities and programs, and also to receive discounts if there is a fee for certain program activities.
The HCSS team is always on the lookout for additional volunteers to help with administrative support at reception, kitchen assistance in serving hot meals, pantry assistance and event organization and tear down . They also recently created a volunteer “germ buster” position for those who want to come in after hours to get disinfected. Additionally, they use specially trained volunteers to assist with Medicare counseling as well as fraud and scam prevention.
“If you retired from one of these areas, this might be your niche,” says Adkins. “It’s a safe and rewarding place to volunteer.”
Juanita Komlanc, a volunteer at the reception of the HCSS, agrees.
“When I first started volunteering, I was amazed at how much HCSS had to offer,” says Komlanc. “The staff are so kind to all the older people who come in and treat them with great respect and dignity.
On April 21, HCSS will host a fundraiser at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds, where 120 people will play musical chairs.
“We will have a professional DJ, an emcee and an official referee,” says Adkins. “It will be a bracketed double-elimination event open to 280 spectators.”
Sponsored by Hendricks Power Cooperative, the event will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include beer and wine as well as appetizers and desserts. Adkins hopes that through fundraising and word of mouth, the community will continue to learn all about what HCSS has to offer.
“We’re here to serve and we want to help, whether it’s seniors, caregivers, or community members trying to help their neighbors,” Adkins says. “We want to continue to help people age gracefully in place.”
Hendricks County Senior Services is located at 1201 Sycamore Lane in Danville. For more information, call 317-745-4303 or visit hcseniors.org.