As the two women laughed together, their bond was undeniable.
About a year ago, Inge Khatchadourian and Maria Colatruglio were brought together through the Senior Companion program.
The program instituted by Catholic Social Services and locally run by Connections Volunteer Center, connects senior adult volunteers with adults 60-plus limited to the outside world.
“Because we are the same age group, we think the same. The kids don’t relate to us the same way we do.” said Maria, 79, of Powell.
Inge, 72, of Delaware, volunteers to visit Maria once a week. They garden together, go shopping and Inge takes Maria to her doctor appointments.
A special bond that they share is that they both immigrated to the United States in their 20s, Inge from Germany, and Maria from Italy. “Suzanne from Connections did a great job in fixing us up,” said Inge. “We’ve never have had a bad visit. We always have a good time together.”
Suzanne Pingry, Program Director of Connections Volunteer Center said, “The Senior Companion Program is vitally important. We are in desperate need of companions like Inge. There is a long waiting list of those who need companionship and socialization. Friendships like Inge and Maria exemplify the success of the program.”
The bond between Maria and Inge was evident as they laughed, joked and finished each other’s sentences.
“I love being a senior companion because it’s nice to meet people. It’s just wonderful to meet and become friends.”
“I’ve overcome a lot in my life. I’m in pain all the time. My mind doesn’t center on the pain when you have someone.” Maria said. “This program is really, really worth it. I thank God for her.”
For information about Connections Volunteer Center and the Senior Companion Program visit ConnectionsVolunteerCenter.org. To become a Senior Companion contact, Suzanne Pingry at 740-363-5000. The Senior Companion Program is funded by SourcePoint. Volunteer services are partially funded by SourcePoint and United Way of Delaware County.