When residents of Tyler, TX, see Wade Emerson at their door, they feel more comfortable having an Alzheimer’s victim in their house. Kevin Turkington has applied the skills and energy he used to build a business to help Alaskan seniors build a better community. And grieving seniors in California find consolation because Wally Buyer radiates compassion.
For their efforts on behalf of seniors, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Denver, honored Wade Emerson, Kevin Turkington and Wally Buyer with its Service to Senior Awards, which recognize the volunteer activities of Certified Senior Advisors (CSA).
Fifty-three CSAs were nominated for three awards: the CSA Samaritan Award, which recognizes one-to-one efforts in meeting the needs of seniors; the CSA Community Citizen Award for donation of time effort and talent to a senior-related organization or cause; and the CSA Trailblazer Award for creation of a program to benefit seniors.
SCSA President Ed Pittock presented the awards at the SCSA International Summit in Las Vegas. “These outstanding CSAs combine the knowledge of how to work with seniors with the selflessness of volunteerism. They set an example for all of us.”
Samaritan Award recipient Wade Emerson is a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Northeast Texas. Faced with the awful fact that about 60% of Alzheimer’s patients will develop the tendency to wander away from their homes or facilities, and the knowledge that a wandering person’s chances of survival drop 50% if the person is not located within 24 hours, the Alliance began a tracking system based on wristbands that emit tracking signals. While it sounds simple, the system, called Project Lifesaver International, requires an 18-hour training process for volunteers to learn how to maintain the wristbands, operate the tracking equipment and conduct searches.
Emerson, a member of the Alzheimer’s Alliance Board of Directors, dove into the training. Every month, he makes house calls to his clients to change the batteries in their wristbands. He also regularly drives by clients’ homes to ensure that their signals can be picked up by the system’s receiving equipment. “Wade’s good nature and winning personality make him a trusted ally and a welcome guest. He takes the time to encourage family caregivers. He visits with his clients, jokes with them and treats them with dignity rather than simply as ‘someone who has Alzheimer’s disease.’ He joins them in their reality and brightens their day. He sincerely cares and his clients can sense that,” read his nomination. In recognition of his actions, Society of Certified Senior Advisors made a $500 contribution to the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Northeast Texas.