Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Aging in Community-Three Rivers consists of (left to right): Elizabeth Holliday, movie program coordinator and board members Susan Darsey, Ginni Lippire, Marilee Stevens, and Grace Klassen.

Aging in Community to receive Recognition Night honors

Recognition Night
Thursday, April 9, 5-10 pm
Annual dinner-dance
with music by 
High Sierra Jazz Band
2018 honorees:
Aging in Community -Three Rivers
The Three Rivers Lions Club precedes the Jazzaffair weekend with a Thursday night celebration of dining and dancing while honoring a community volunteer. The 2018 honorees of the annual Recognition Night will be the Aging in Community board of directors. In every community survey conducted for as long as anyone can remember, the respondents always answer that one of the things Three Rivers needs most is care for the elderly. In a town where 46 percent are over the age of 55 (2010 census), with many not even settling here until they retire, it’s critical that these folks have an opportunity to age in place.
There have been a few short-lived group homes that have tried to fill the need — but most elderly follow the same pattern. They either move to the home of a relative somewhere else or check into an assisted living facility somewhere down the hill.
But this year’s honorees, a motivated core group of volunteers who realized four years ago there was a gap in services for the elderly, made a commitment  to do something about the outcome and made the preferred option for many elderly of aging in place a reality. They created Aging in Community.   
Grace Klassen, one of the group’s founding board members, said right from the start the group was focused on advocating for older residents who reside in Three Rivers and wish to live independently in their own homes as they age. 
After investigating the services available in Three Rivers and noting the obvious gaps, these volunteers incorporated as a nonprofit in 2015.  By connecting elders to helping hands, more than 60 volunteers now strive to lessen isolation and strengthen independence while building relationships and honoring the gifts of unique elder citizens. 
Partnering with other local organizations and community members, AIC now offers seven program opportunities for the citizens of Three Rivers.
—People seeking helping hands may call the AIC Help Line, (559) 465-4666, for connections to volunteers and services.
—The Friendly Visits Outreach Program consists of volunteers connecting with elders through monthly visits and phone calls. 
—Local elders share their oral histories with Story Gatherers to be included in a collection of personal memories on reserve at the Three Rivers and Visalia libraries and Three Rivers Historical Museum. 
—Afternoon at the Movies is a free monthly event bringing seniors together where movie-goers savor free popcorn, lemonade, and lollipops as they view a feature-length film. 
—The $5 Senior Lunch is now available every Monday at St. Anthony Retreat Center.
—The Pen Pal Project connects elders and Three Rivers School children. 
—Free workshops focusing on senior issues are presented throughout the year. Topics have included A Dignified Life: The Best Friend’s Approach to Alzheimer’s Care,  Grace in Dying, Advance Health Care Directives, Medicare Tune Ups, Elder Fraud Alerts, and The Aging Brain.
Workshops being planned for 2018 include: 
Advance Health Care Directives— Sarah Shena will return to help citizens make a plan while they can. 
Hospice Round Table— Experts will answer commonly asked questions and teach attendees about “standing as a witness” through hospice. 
Stress and the Body— This video series from Great Courses will guide discussion about improving health and wellness in advancing age. 
Plan on attending Recognition Night to show gratitude to this essential Three Rivers organization.