The Duncan Banner

October 9, 2012

United Way helps Senior Citizens Center

Joshua Kellogg
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — The United Way of Stephens County plays integral roles in all of the partner agencies but for the Duncan Senior Citizens Center, the building wouldn’t be able open without their funding.

“I honestly think, we wouldn’t be here without the United Way,” Director Luana Shufeldt said. “They do a great job of providing services that are in need.”

Shufeldt pegged the United Way funding as 39 percent of their operating budget, which relies on fundraisers and donations, to provide the seniors of the community a place to socialize and keep busy with a wide variety of activities.

Funding for the center has been tight and while the upcoming Nov. 6 sales tax resolution will help fire departments and senior citizen nutrition programs, the money will be directed at operating the food services and not general operations for the building.

“We work together with the Delta (Community Action) on it,” Shufeldt said. “They come for the food and stay for the entertainment and for the company.”

The center also operates a van service, to help ensure people without access to vehicles can still live independently.

With the van service able to drive seniors across the city of Duncan, to grocery shop, go to the bank and other errands, it fills a need for people on a fixed income who might have trouble with costs of maintaining a motor vehicle.

“Most people can’t drive or can’t get out of their home,” Shufeldt said. “They could get depressed sitting at home and staring at the TV. Not real helpful there, they become vegetables.”

While offering activities, like pottery, playing pool, puzzles and more, Shufeldt was excited to bring a new art instructor into the fold.

In the past, the center has had some issues keeping an art instructor on staff but the new instructor will be able to educate on anything the seniors are interested in learning about in the art realm.

Coming up in November, the senior citizens center will hold a memory screening in conjunction with Duncan Regional Hospital, to help those who struggle with memory loss as they age.

The center also hosts a memory class, to provide exercises in keeping the seniors’ minds active with puzzles and worksheets.

“If they need the assistance, we’re here to help,” Stan Shufeldt said. Stan drives the van for the senior citizens center Monday and Tuesday’s and believes it’s an critical part of the community.

“If it wasn’t for us, they wouldn’t get out,” Stan said.