The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

February 7, 2014

Senior program aims to provide fun, interaction

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON —  Members of the newly formed Community Senior Activity Program, including Lisa Fratianni, Reba Corbin and Sharon Gilbert, hope to reach out to area seniors, providing them with kindness and human interaction through a variety of activities.

"Once you become a senior or an elderly person, you're kind of pushed aside," said Fratianni, who provides home care for seniors through TLC In-home Care Services. TLC staff will provide the elderly with transportation to future CSAP events.

During the past six months, Fratianni, Corbin, Gilbert and others began discussing a group to promote programs and activities for area seniors. A committee for CSAP officially formed in December.

"Because we thought that there was a need in the community for senior programs," Gilbert said.

Clinton currently has no senior center, something which shocks these women. Corbin pointed out that most communities Clinton's size have some sort of senior center.

As a former nurse of 40 years, who spent at least half of those years working with seniors, Gilbert knows the importance of senior programs. She said the elderly can become isolated in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, leading to depression and loneliness. She hopes to bring socialization and fun to area seniors.

Fratianni hopes to see seniors getting together for card games, to make jewelry and pottery and for gardening. Seniors have already expressed a desire to Gilbert for a place to dance.

"The seniors want to go back to dancing," Gilbert said.

Other programs provided by CSAP could include bowling, movies, educational events and health screenings.

"We're hoping for everyone's involvement. That's what we're hoping for," Fratianni said. "And of course, donations are always very good."

Before CSAP can begin providing these programs to area seniors, it needs volunteers within the community. Fratianni hopes to work with the local schools and colleges for volunteer programs. She is looking for the whole community to make it a success.

CSAP will also collaborate with existing programs and organizations, such as the Clinton Women's Club, the Sawmill Museum, area churches and the Ericksen Community Center.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call 242-2969.