LACONIA — On November 12, Dr. Laura Robertson of Audiology Specialists in Laconia will provide an educational presentation at the monthly meeting for members of the Foster Grandparent Program.
The program brings together children and retired adults in schools, non-profit childcare centers and other youth service organizations. Income-eligible volunteers are trained by teachers and developmental experts to help children in the age-group they choose, from infants to age 19, by providing nurturing, mentoring, encouragement, tutoring, staying on task, or homework assistance.
"What a wonderful way for seniors to continue to be a valuable part of the community", states Robertson.
This federal program pays mileage reimbursement as well as a tax-free stipend which does not affect Social Security, housing assistance and other benefits.
The value of this unique program is two-fold. While children benefit from the added attention and interaction, the volunteers enjoy increased physical and mental activity, new caring relationships and a renewed sense of purpose in life.
"Being active and socially engaged has a significant positive impact on the overall mental and physical health of these older adults", states Robertson. "Studies have shown that seniors who withdraw socially have an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease".
"We want our patients to continue to enjoy activities like this, and good hearing is an important part of being able to do so."
The Friends Foster Grandparent Program operates in central and southern New Hampshire and currently has volunteers in more than 80 schools and other sites in the state. For more information on this program, call (603) 536-1193 or visit them online at http://friendsprogram.org/programs/foster-grandparent. Dr. Robertson's office is located at 211 South Main Street and may be reached at (603) 528-7700, or visit her site at her site at http://audiologyspecialists.com/.