Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services Senior Companion Program volunteer Susan Litson is a champion of causes that contribute to independence and a greater sense of social connectedness for aging seniors in our community.
For the past six years Susan has helped frail, isolated seniors through her service as an AmeriCorps Seniors Senior Companion Program volunteer. She always has a positive, happy demeanor. For the seniors Susan serves, having access to transportation for medical appointments and grocery shopping, help with household tasks and other needs, help obtaining access to various resources and services, and socialization is essential to maintaining health and the ability to remain independently in their own homes.
Additionally, Susan is always willing to be flexible and go over and above the call of duty to meet her clients’ needs. One example is a client who is blind. Susan thoroughly cleaned the apartment and removed many boxes of non-usable items under the direction of the client. She contacted the housing manager to remove filthy carpets, remove a non-working fridge and stove and replace with new ones. She also arranged to have them pick up the client’s trash every other day. She helped this client apply for various low-income senior housing units. Susan assisted this client in moving her total apartment belongings and furnishings when a low-income senior housing apartment was available. This client had major eye cataracts and hadn’t been able to see for 20 years. Susan worked with the client’s friend to find an eye specialist for her client. She provided rides and advocacy for more than 15 appointments for her client’s treatment and two eye surgeries. Her client can now see enough to read labels, see what is in front of her, prepare her own meals and so many other things that she hadn’t been able to do for years!
Susan is an amazing, dedicated volunteer who doesn’t let anything stand in the way of helping people. There are many other stories of her outstanding service to companionship and caregiver clients. Whether she is providing advocacy, access to resources, transportation or just a good old-fashioned visit, she is definitely making a big difference in the lives of the people she serves. They have a greater sense of dignity because she is their volunteer.
Susan has given more than 7600 hours in service to seniors. She has made a tremendous difference in the lives of the people she serves. It is an honor to be associated with such a kind and dedicated volunteer. Her service is inspiring and truly vital to the older citizens she has served throughout Salt Lake County.
Nominated by Vicki Jo Hansen, AmeriCorps Seniors Senior Companion Program, Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services, 385-468-3239, email@example.com
The Senior Companion program focuses on providing assistance and friendship to older adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. Through this program, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers keep seniors independent longer and provide respite to family caregivers. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers themselves report better health and longevity having served their community.