By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization
This week, I want to tell you how thankful we are for our seniors, our community partners and members.
The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization staffs both the Los Alamos and White Rock Senior Centers. Our employees love our seniors and we become quite attached to them.
Quite often, we’re small communities of families. There are many people making sure folks are taken care of every day. Our Head Chefs and their Sous Chefs cook and clean many hours each day, following strict rules and guidelines from the state, to offer a nutritious meal.
They take their jobs very seriously and it must be hard to please 25 to 50+ people a day.
Our Day Out program offers a great socialization opportunity for community elders. If you need to work and mom, dad or a spouse spends the day home alone, come give us a try. There’s music, games, exercise, movies and more. They serve breakfast and lunch, available every day. The staff takes caring for others to heart, and are more than happy to be your eyes and ears. They hope to make the day of your family member a little better.
Transportation is important, but often people may not realize all of the roles they fill. They will take you to an appointment, the store, the bank or anywhere else in town. They also are the stellar crew that delivers Home Delivered Meals, called Meals on Wheels by the community.
They are often the only people that lay eyes on a senior every day. They know when their clients are out of sorts and have found seniors that have fallen in their homes.
The LAVA/RSVP coordinators are the muscle and the memory of the organization. The make sure people are where they need to be and coordinate a mini socialization network for 30+ entities in the community. There are many events that don’t happen or activities that don’t get done without our volunteers and their handlers. They are the unsung heroes behind the scenes.
Our Assessors, White Rock Senior Center Coordinator, Case Manager, along with our Human Resources and Administrative Assistant are essentially the paperwork pushers. They are the first line of defense in making sure everything runs smoothly. They keep all of the affairs in order and make sure memberships are current, so we can provide services, rooms or resources on a moment’s notice.
Our Board of Directors and community partners help steer the ship, with important services, meetings and documents. It takes more to get things done than meets the eye. That list includes our Head Custodian, who I am lucky enough to be greeted by daily and am quite aware of his absence on any occasion. For me the kindness behind his work is equally as important as the work done.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and if you are alone in the community and over 50, we welcome you anytime you need us.