LUNCH, LAUGHTER, AND FOND MEMORIES
Ruth is the type of person who will brighten your day without saying a word. She is a well-known member of the community and has called Richmond her home for all of her life. Since 2010 she has been coping with grief from the loss of her late husband, Paul. Personal aging has required some getting used to. She has severe arthritis, suffers pain from bone spurs, and has to rely on a cane to maneuver gingerly through her home. Her three children often worry about her.
She was invited to the Richmond Senior Citizens Center by her cousin, Bettie, a center ‘regular’. Well aware of the center and the services it provides, Ruth accepted the invitation without hesitation and has been coming ever since. Ruth served as an active volunteer member on the Foothills’ Board of Directors from 1996-2008; and served as Board Chair for six years. In this role she supervised all of the business and affairs of the agency. During her time as Board Chair, Ruth served on numerous key committees including Executive, Finance, and Strategic Planning. She provided outstanding direction to both the executive staff and volunteers. Her unwavering dedication to the success of Foothills was an inspiration. Ruth freely gave of her time and resources to help promote the agency and its programs. She believes it is very important to remain active and involved with others.
“I wanted to get out of the house and see what was going on,” she said.
The agency’s four Senior Citizens Centers provide seniors sixty years and older with socialization, recreation, and nutritious meals. Seniors enjoy participating in exercise programs, recreational games, field trips, and educational and health screening programs. These activities allow them to remain active and live longer, healthier, more independent lives. Two of the centers are intergenerational programs, located in the same building as Head Start. The centers provide transportation to and from participants’ homes and takes them to the grocery store weekly.
“Everyone is so nice here,” said Ruth.
It’s also a blessing for Ruth, who doesn’t cook much anymore, to receive a hot meal every day. For Ruth, noon meals aren’t the only draw to the center. She attends every day and looks forward to socializing with her friends.
“I’m a people person. I need to be around people,” she explains.
She loves playing Bingo, going on special trips or just out to eat. She said she always has money ready for an impromptu outing like bowling or lunch at a local restaurant. One of her fondest memories at the center was when the group took a cruise on the Belle of Louisville last year. Being in this atmosphere has enhanced Ruth’s self-confidence, dignity, and independence. Still able to live independently, Ruth enjoys playing games on her Kindle and watching TV at home. Her three children, Paula, Jerry, and Robert check in on her daily. On the weekend she looks forward to going out to lunch and shopping. She is an active member of her church and enjoys worship and fellowship every Sunday.
“I have good days and bad days,” said Ruth, who will be 81 in September. “But overall I’m making it pretty good.” She credits her family and Foothills for keeping her active and healthy.