June 2017


Anniversaries and birthdays keep sneaking up on me. In preparation for our 45th Anniversary serving the 60+residents of Columbia County, I have been reviewing pictures which tell the story of where we have been and where we are at present. When I look at these pictures and see all the people I have had the honor of getting to know, I also cannot help thinking of where we need to be going in the future.
As I have grown older, and seen my friends grow older, I continue to be amazed at the things we are capable of accomplishing; compared to where we are now or where we thought we would be.
In my very special job, I get to come to work each day and see the fruits of our labor. Our vision yields a holistic way of entering the Third-Third of our lives. I get to see how much difference a supportive community, wonderful volunteers and a dedicated staff can make in the lives of the three score and 10 plus.
In the past ten years, we have had the “problem” of outgrowing our facilities. We have seen beneficial classes offered to seniors which keep them current in technology and teach them about the LifeStyle changes which can improve their lives. We have seen what remarkable things result from offering the patience and encouragement of our gym volunteers. We have seen how daily contact with others improves our state of mind. We have seen that learning to act in a play and entertain others is extremely therapeutic. We have learned to do Tai-Chi and flex yoga. We have been introduced to dance aerobics.
In the future, we will have a Plant Therapy program. Almost anything we do has a positive therapeutic result.
One of the great achievements of our agency in the past ten years has been the opening of an Adult Day Care program for people with dementia. This is not a custodial day care. It is a program designed specifically for the patient so that he/she can “celebrate life everyday”.
We have other visions. We would love to see the physical fitness wing built with its heated therapy pool. So many people could benefit from this project. This wing would have a larger gym. When this wing is built, we will also need to redesign the interior of our current building and do some upgrades. There will also be a need for a larger day care; and art and theater classes. I know this will happen. It is the right thing to do.
In the meantime, I want to thank this community and our faithful donors, volunteers and staff for recognizing that what we provide is important to this community. The gifts which come to us in the form of time given; in-kind services/supplies; and actual dollars move us towards the sustainability which we need to maintain what we have and provide the structure to move forward with services for the future.
Deborah B. Freeman
Executive Director
It is the first week of Summer 2017. Two storms out in the Gulf already! This is a great time to get your 2017 Disaster Plan ready for your family. Did you know that for most disasters you should plan for at least enough food and water for the first three days after the event? Are you prepared to survive without electricity for up to a week? What do you have on hand to eat if you have no refrigeration?
Do you have someone in your home who needs medical care at all times? Do you have family pets?
If we have advanced warning of an impending disaster it is good to be able to leave the area. Go and stay with friends or relatives until the danger is past. Do you know more than one way to get out of your neighborhood? Do you have battery powered radios and flashlights? Do you have a family contact who will know your disaster plan?
You may be thinking why all of these questions? The government and Red Cross have shelters don’t they? They will take care of my needs in a disaster. The County Government and the Red Cross do set up shelters, however, they will most likely not be able to provide you with even the bare necessities. You need to know that a lawn chair brought from home is your most likely bed. You need to bring your medicines since shelters do not carry prescription medication. Is someone in your family incontinent?
You need to remember to bring their incontinent supplies with you.  Does a family member have dementia? A shelter would be a nightmare for them and YOU! Remember those beloved pets? They are not allowed in shelters in Columbia County. Do you know the eligibility requirements for being accepted in a Special Needs Shelter? Have you registered with Emergency Management? Can you get transportation?
Know your plans. If you plan to go to a shelter, do not wait until the storm is at its peak – emergency vehicles are not allowed on the road when winds reach a certain speed. You cannot allow your lack of preparation and indecision to put law enforcement or emergency personnel at risk. I sincerely hope and pray that we will all have a safe and peaceful summer, however, lifelong Floridians know that the weather situation can change on a dime. Be prepared!
Renee R. Faulkner
At the early age of 9, I become involved with the “Council on Aging” or the Golden Age Center.  At that time my Dad, James Faulkner was working at the agency.  My sister and I were privileged to spend a couple of summers there with the loving folks and staff answering telephones.  

Now, at that age, I believed that my answering the telephones was a crucial role and made me feel very important.  However, with time, as for all of us, I have gained wisdom and realize two crucial life lessons were learned during my summers at the center:


1.      I know to value life at all ages: It wasn’t me who was important but the folks and staff who made a lifetime impression on me.

2.  Always work every situation to your best advantage: My Mom was extremely smart to “send” us with Dad to work, she had freedom!
Answering the phones, enjoying lunch with seniors, learning to quilt and needlepoint, and following Mrs. Winnie around are some of my fond memories.  I treasure these pictures in my mind and find it an absolute privilege to serve on the Board of Directors for Columbia County Senior Services.  I look forward to serving and all the awesome opportunities provided for giving back!
The Club
The Club is our Dementia Specific Adult Day Care facility.
The staff, JoAnn Flegert and Jerri Disbrow, are committed to enhancing the quality and meaning of life for both the individuals and their families.
Not only does The Club work with the individual, they help the caregiver by providing support, counseling and training to cope with the care and responsibilities of a loved one suffering with dementia.
Heather Adams Washington
By Nancy Willems, In Home Coordinator
Heather Adams Washington
Heather Adams began her employment with Columbia County Senior Services on June 1, 2006, as a Certified Nursing Assistant.   Heather credits taking care of her parents, Rosa and Ben Adams, and enjoying the time she spent with them as incentive for her desire to study for and become a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant.   While seeking her certification, she was working part time at a local motel, going to school, and taking care of her young son and her mother.
Heather states she enjoys working with Columbia County Senior Services and meeting new clients and lending a helping hand to the caregivers. She feels everyone needs a break to rest their mind and refresh.  Heather states she is happy the caregivers trust her to take care of their loved one.   She treats people like a member of her family and how she would want her family treated when she needs to refresh her mind and strength.
The clients and caregivers assigned to Heather speak highly of her and enjoy her being a part of their lives.  Heather provides suggestions for achieving tasks easier or quicker and offers suggestions for the homemaking chores or personal care of the clients.
We, at Columbia County Senior Services, are happy to have Heather as a part of our team.
Susan Mytych
By DeAnna Law, Activities/Volunteer
Susan Mytych
June Volunteer of the Month
Susan was born in Rahway N.Y. and graduated H.S from Woodbridge H.S.  After High School, she married David Morris.  They lived in a big farm house which they filled with their own 5 children and many foster children. She and David were foster parents for 20 years and for two years they were a shelter home for children.
Susan tells a story about one time three days before Christmas five children were taken from their home.  “We were called and asked how many of the children could we take. Susan of course said how many? I don’t want to break up the children so close to Christmas so they took all five of them. She says they just move the kids down at the dinner table and squeezed in more plates.”
Susan has worked for years in retail management.  After she retired she opened a thrift shop for a homeless shelter called the Light House Ministries in Eastern Shore, Virginia.
After 41 years of marriage, David passed away and Susan decided to move to Lake City, Fla.  Susan met Ken, her second husband, here in Lake City.  They were happily married for 4 years, then after a long fight with cancer, he passed away.
In Lake City, she worked at the Haven Hospice thrift shop. She has also taught line dancing here in Lake City. Now she runs the Friday night Dance here at LEC. Susan puts in many hours preparing our center for the Friday night dances.  If you know Susan you know she has a big heart, and becomes a friend of everyone she meets.  Thank you, Susan for all your work you do here at the center.
Recent Donations
Tomi Lee donated a very nice Dyna-Glo 6 Burner Gas Grill for the LEC facility in Lake City. Thank you Tomi Lee. Your support is appreciated.
We also need a grill for our Fort White LEC facility. The new pavilion will be ready soon and a new grill will be a welcome addition.
Put on your Party Hat and come Join our 45th Anniversary Celebration
A Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
Join us on August 12th!
You never know what will happen at a poker tournament in a place called Deadwood.
Dress in western attire, enjoy dinner in a western atmosphere and play a part in our mystery. Are you ready for some fun!
Contact Deanna Law at 386-755-0235, Ext 124 for reservations.