Senior Companions recognized

Courtesy photo: Lorraine Kracke

BROOKINGS – Senior Companions of South Dakota recognized the Senior Companions that serve Brookings, Brown, Codington, and Day counties at the Elks Lodge on Friday, Aug. 2, in Watertown. 

Along with a buffet lunch, Senior Companions, staff and guests were entertained by Kristina Gindo of Brookings with her harp.

The theme for this year’s event was a “Garden Party,” and the companions donned hats of their making for a hat contest.

Lorraine Kracke of Brookings was recognized for five years of service to the Brookings area. She also received the Lifetime Presidential Volunteer Award for serving over 4,000 hours.

Senior Companions provide in-home services to older persons and other adults in need. They assist others with grocery shopping, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation to doctor appointments, and various daily tasks necessary to maintaining independence.  

This service is provided free of charge. Without the help of Senior Companions, many older adults would not be able to continue living in their own home and might require placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility.  

In 2018, 72 Senior Companions in South Dakota provided 60,081 hours of service to their 340 clients. These Senior Companions are the foundation of one of South Dakota’s most positive programs.  

Their dedication to the clients they serve is a blessing to the clients, the clients’ families, and communities. 

In a release, Senior Companion officials said, “Our Companions love what they do and are not shy about telling people how much the program benefits not only the clients they serve but also themselves.  Our Companions often remark that they feel they are really making a difference in their clients’ lives and are rewarded in many ways, making this a truly enjoyable volunteer experience.”

Senior Companions enjoy many benefits, including: an hourly tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement, paid training, paid personal leave, paid holidays, accident insurance, friendships with peers, and the satisfaction of helping others. 

If you are 55 or older and enjoy helping others and looking for a way to impact the lives of the senior population in your community, become a Senior Companion.  

The organization is now accepting applications. If you are interested in learning more about Senior Companions of South Dakota, call 605-361-1133 or toll-free 1-888-239-1210 or visit the website at: