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Maria Garcia Wisdom Center Centenarian receiving a gift from Frances McHugh, Foster Grandparent volunteer.

Smiling faces and a few tears of remembrance were shown by the participants of the Santa Maria Wisdom Center’s Adult Day Health Care Program.

Volunteers from Tri-County Regional Center’s, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program sang holiday songs at the Center. Participants were able to join in singing, making special requests, and sharing their voices as they reminisced on the past. Staff at the Wisdom Center commented regarding one of their male participants, “We never knew he could sing like that!” A female centenarian participant, joined in on “Felize Navidad,” led by Foster Grandparent volunteer Candy Amaya. As the volunteer held this woman’s hand, she said, “It is like holding my mother’s hand.”

After singing a selection of holiday songs, the volunteers passed out gifts and greeted each member of the group wishing them Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Holiday cheer was spread and felt by volunteers and participants alike.

The Santa Maria Wisdom Center is a community-based day program that provides a variety of health and social services as well as planned therapeutic and rehabilitative activities. They provide services for the frail elderly and impaired adults with such diagnoses as moderate to severe dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Breakfast and a hot lunch are provided daily as well as door to door transportation. For more information contact Linda Gadbois, Program Director at 805-354-5322.

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Tri-Counties Regional Center Foster Grandparent & Senior Companion Volunteer Program provides volunteer opportunities to limited income adults 55 and older. Those who qualify, receive a non-declarable income. Volunteers serve at local schools and at Adult Day Programs an average of 20 hours per week. As one volunteer mentioned, “It’s like having a whole new family, and an opportunity to give back to my community.”

For more information regarding these programs contact Diana Washburn at 805-884-7226.

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