New RSVP President Susan Haas and Program Director Tannis Causey, visited the RSVP office in Caliente for an open house Aug. 13.

The ladies, along with June Taylor, who oversees RSVP for Lincoln County, invited the public for refreshments and to discuss their programs and encourage volunteers. The program had just been approved to receive their full funding from the County Commissioners the day before, which the ladies were pleased to announce.

The Nevada Rural Counties Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) encourages volunteerism for and civic engagement for citizens aged 55 and older, however the program is starting to branch out more with younger volunteers.

RSVP is launching a transportation program, where reimbursement is available. “Lack of transportation will cause people to not get the services they need,” said Haas. The program obtains volunteer drivers to help with doctor appointments, grocery shopping, and other necessary trips important for seniors who live independently.

Haas said that suicide rates are higher for elders, and spoke of the benefits volunteering provides. Studies have shown some benefits of volunteering to be living a longer, healthier lives. It reduces stress, can help change your mood, and gives the self a sense of pride and accomplishment. According to cms.carepages.com, volunteering can help lower blood pressure and improve heart problems and increase cognitive functioning, as well as reducing anxiety and depression.

Haas said that the program is designed to help the elderly “remain independent and at home with dignity.” The Respit program offers a relief for those who are caretakers of their family 24/7. Many times when seniors are no longer able to live on their own, and do not wish to be placed in a facility, they are cared for by family or friends who have to available around the clock. By having a respit volunteer, the caring individuals are able to keep parts of their personal lives and are given a break to tend to their own matters.

Causey said the program has “quality volunteers,” and that they look closely at backgrounds and personalities when matching them with seniors. Causey first was involved in RSVP as a volunteer driver, and has now become a Program Director.

The Lifeline program is a valuable service offered, because as Taylor said, “Cell phones don’t cut it.” She mentioned that when you shower, you don’t have your phone with you, and that when an accident happens, you might not be able to reach the phone, which is why the Lifeline program is so helpful.

Taylor thanked the community for all their support and said, “We wouldn’t be here without Mark Holt,” who owns the building RSVP is located in.

Many of our community organizations would not function without the help of our resident volunteers. To learn more about the RSVP program, the services they offer or the volunteer programs they have, call June Taylor at 775-726-3126 or visit the website, http://nevadaruralrsvp.org/