In honor of National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, the Home Instead Senior Care network named William Blair, 70, its 2014 Salute to Senior Service winner for Nevada.
Blair received the most online votes. A resident of Las Vegas since 1973, he was recognized for his community service for the past five years, including his volunteer work for Helping Hands of Vegas Valley.
Blair uses his vehicle to transport homebound seniors to and from medical and other critical appointments. Why does he do it?
“I can see; I can walk; I can hear; a lot of people can’t,” said Blair, a former U.S. history teacher at Swainston Middle School in North Las Vegas. He retired in 2005.
Blair earned $500 for his charity of choice, which is Helping Hands, 2320 Paseo Del Prado, No. 112. The money was donated by Home Instead Inc., the contest sponsor. His nomination can be found at salutetoseniorservice.com.
The results of a Marist Poll show that 62 percent of seniors 68 or older volunteered their time in the last year, with 13 percent of those reporting that they volunteer in order to stay active.
Bonnie Reppert, franchise owner of the Home Instead at 2340 Paseo Del Prado, Suite D112, said seniors needing care is becoming a growing segment of society. Her business provides nonmedical services for those who need help running errands and doing light housekeeping and with personal care and preparing simple meals. All caregivers receive special training for working with those with dementia issues such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“More people want to stay home as long as possible; a large percentage of the population is over 65,” Reppert said. “As they age, they need more help. It’s the reality of life.”
Another reality is that seniors see Las Vegas as a retirement location. Even those who raised families here are not immune to being alone in their later years.
“Kids tend to move away and not be around any more,” Blair said. “It used to be there were three generations under one roof.”
Home Instead has a track record that goes back 20 years. It was founded in 1994 in Omaha, Neb., by Paul and Lori Hogan and boasts more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises around the world.
In Las Vegas, it works with Nathan Adelson Hospice, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Alzheimer’s Association to care for those who need assistance.
Contact Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.