New site managers to ease pressure on volunteers Meal times at some centers become hectic without enough paid staff CARROLL COUNTY SENIORS

July 21, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The volunteers at the New Windsor Senior Citizens Center knew the drill.

Grayson Elmer Wolfe, 86, set the tables.

Ruth Buffington, 80, collected the money.

Martha Morningstar, who turned 83 yesterday, hustled around the kitchen, pouring juice, scouring food containers and organizing the troops.

They were serving the Friday evening meal, one of three offered every week at the center, which is housed at the New Windsor Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

These volunteers and the county employees who have been working with them soon may have permanent help.

Lynette Brewer, community services supervisor with the Carroll County Bureau of Aging, said she hopes to have a new site manager for the New Windsor center this week. Only a doctor's report is still needed before the hire is official.

The new site manager will fill a vacancy that has gone unfilled since Jan. 18.

And in Eldersburg, a new site manager will start work tomorrow at the South Carroll Senior Citizens Center, which has been without a site manager for more than a year. Flora Wagenfer, who lives in Eldersburg, has been appointed to that position, Ms. Brewer said.

When the New Windsor site manager comes on board, said Ms. Morningstar, "I sure will be glad. . . . I have been the one trying to hold it together."

The site manager is the person responsible for organizing and serving meals, which are cooked at the New Windsor Service Center.

The site manager supervises volunteers, checks the temperature of the food and completes related paperwork. He or she also helps with nutritional education for the eld erly.

Since January, Ms. Brewer and fellow Bureau of Aging staff members Brenda Lerner and Diane Unglesbee have been driving to New Windsor from their offices in Westminster and Eldersburg in order to perform site manager duties.

In Eldersburg, Bev Sharpsteen, who manages the senior center, has been doubling as site manager since she was hired in September.

Asked about the new site manager, Ms. Sharpsteen said, "I think it's absolutely marvelous. It's long overdue."

She said, "You can't do two jobs and have everything done thoroughly."

Ms. Sharpsteen said her work as center manger is supposed to consist of setting up and managing programs to meet the varying needs of the active and less-active seniors who use the center.

"Sometimes it takes me twice as long to get a program started as it should," she said, because she spends so much time organizing meals.

The reason it took so long to fill the part-time site manager positions in Eldersburg and New Windsor is that they are funded by a federal program called Senior Aides, administered by the state Office on Aging. To qualify for a Senior Aides position, a person must be over age 55 and meet strict income guidelines.

"We've had numerous people that would love to be a site manager," said Ms. Sharpsteen, "but they couldn't meet the guidelines."

Having a site manager, she said, "will give me more time to do the programming that needs to be done."

For example, she said, she is starting a new drama club for vTC seniors that will meet for the first time on Friday. She also hopes to start up a bridge group.

"I'm excited," she said. "I think it's going to be better for everybody all the way around."

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