PARTNERS lends hand to area seniors [UPDATED]Published 9:42am Tuesday, April 30, 2013 Updated 11:44am Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It’s the simple conveniences that many take for granted when they’re young, but mean years of comfort for area seniors.
PARTNERS (People Around Rothsay That Need Extra Routine Services) in Rothsay has been providing services that the elderly cannot perform on their own for over 20 years. According to director Marlys Winkels, that has helped make for better living as residents enter the later years of their lives.
“Our sole purpose is to keep the elderly living in their homes and communities for as long as possible,” Winkels said. “Nobody can underestimate how important it is for people, because that’s their base in life.”
The organization provides rides, a foot clinic sponsored by the United Way of Richland and Wilkin counties, shopping and group activities to those over the age of 60, which includes about 150 in the area.
Group outings to special events and restaurants are also available to get people out of the house and socializing.
“They’ve proven that programs like these help keep people out of the nursing home, which is important because of costs,” Winkels said. “Proof of this is that we have so many 85 and older residents in the community that can stay home, not totally because of us, but because the help is there.”
One of the group’s most recent projects has been turning the old Our Savior’s Church building into a thrift store they’ve named Rothsay’s Attic. Opened last spring, Winkels said the store has been a fun way for the organization and residents to raise extra funds.
“We took it and went on an adventure with this thrift store and it’s going well,” Winkels said. “It’s a landmark people can still enjoy even though it has a different purpose.”
The opportunity to keep the historic church is another important aspect of preserving community for the elderly. To further their preservation, the organization was recently awarded a grant through West Central Initiative in Fergus Falls.
In order to return the old church to its former splendor, 46 gallons of white paint will be given to the organization. After its worn siding is given a few fresh coats, the building should have a new shine by summer.
The donation is thanks to the Valspar Corporation and its Minnesota Beautiful program, which is giving 481 gallons of paint to the West Central area for local projects.
The project will be done entirely on a volunteer basis, showing what Winkels said is the spirit within the organization.
“I’m passionate about helping the elderly,” Winkels said. “It’s things like this that bring that out through our community as we work together.”