PSR earns third USAging award

Piedmont Senior Resources (PSR) received its third national USAging award for its Volunteer Wellness Check-in Call Program. The award was presented at USAging’s 48th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“PSR was so excited to receive our third national award in a row from USAging,” PSR Executive Director/CEO Justine Young said.

Similar to last year’s award-winning PSR program which served homebound clients, the 2023 Volunteer Check-in Program was created and implemented by PSR Nutrition Coordinator Nikki Dean. 13 volunteers–primarily older adults–checked in with clients virtually and via phone to provide much-needed human connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to wellness checks, volunteers also identified clients’ needs and addressed them with PSR programs and services.

“Many clients received help from volunteer calls,” Young added. “We were able to provide these clients with assistive devices, blankets, heaters, air conditioners, microwaves, hospital beds and even assistance finding a new home after eviction.”

The program also provided benefits for volunteers. “Many of the older adults who volunteered were staying at home themselves during COVID,” Dean noted. “The monthly calls to clients — something they could do from home — allowed them to connect with others and participate in a worthwhile cause.”

“PSR has always focused on being responsive to our client needs, but this program in particular was very special,” said Dean. “It was an honor to be recognized for simply doing what we always do: help seniors in our community with a program that uplifted both clients and volunteers.”

“We are a small agency, but we have a big impact in the seven rural counties that we serve,” Young added. “It was such an honor for PSR to receive this award.”

The 2022 USAging Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards program recognizes Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Programs that have developed and implemented cutting-edge concepts, innovative ideas and successful strategies to support older adults and their caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their own communities.

“The Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards are a timely reminder of the evolving role USAging members play in the planning, development, coordination and delivery of aging and other home and community-based services in nearly every community in the United States,” USAging CEO Sandy Markwood said.

“USAging is inspired by the examples set for others in the Aging Network.”