Last month, the Natchitoches Parish Government’s Office of Community Services hosted its annual Senior Companion Recognition. This year’s recognition had a different feel to it, as the continuing spread of Covid-19 limited the ability of the Senior Companion volunteers to congregate in one place. The OCS staff was determined to recognize the valuable work of the volunteers, though, and so they organized the first ever drive-by Senior Companion Recognition.
“Normally a Senior Companion Recognition involves a full program and a sit-down lunch, however this wasn’t an option”, said Linda Jordan, Senior Companion Program Director. “We wanted to recognize our Seniors Companions for their diligent work over this past year and still keep everyone safe.” The Senior Companions paraded through the OCS parking lot as Ms. Jordan, OCS Executive Director Sharon Harris, Senior Corp Advisory Board Member Betty Smith, and OCS Secretary Natasha McHenry gave each Senior Companion a lunch, certificate, and thank you token.
Parish President John Richmond lauded the OCS staff for their creative efforts in recognizing Senior Companion volunteers while also protecting against the spread of COVID-19. “The staff at our Office of Community Services continues to go above and beyond in their service to our Parish residents,” Mr. Richmond stated. “I am incredibly proud of the flexibility they showed in honoring their Senior Companion volunteers while doing everything they could to minimize the risks of spreading COVID-19.” He added, “I would also like to thank our Senior Companion volunteers for selflessly giving their time to meet the needs of the senior residents in our Parish who might otherwise be unable to perform daily tasks which many of us take for granted.”
The Senior Companion Program is comprised of volunteers aged 55 and over. These volunteers provide assistance and friendship to seniors who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. The program aims to keep seniors independent longer and provide respite to family caregivers.
If you would like to get involved and become a Senior Companion volunteer, please contact our Office of Community Services at 318.357.2220