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On Centre: Centre Region | New Aging in Place Centre County program matches seniors with helping hands

All some people need is a little help.

That’s the premise behind a new program at Aging in Place Centre County, a nonprofit whose mission is to help seniors stay in their homes as long as possible.

There are a lot of older people who are healthy and able to live on their own but need a hand with the little things now and then — like changing a light bulb, running errands or fixing dripping faucets, AIP Vice Chairwoman Carol Hine said.

“You can stay home if you just had that little bit of help,” she said.

And that’s where Homebase comes in.

It’s a program that matches seniors with helpers and professionals to conquer those little tasks that might not seem so little to someone who isn’t as nimble as he used to be.

All it would take, Hine said, is people signing up for an hour or two a week or a month.

She’s looking for “people who will give their time to a neighbor down the street.”

That help could be with minor home repairs, grocery shopping, gardening, wrapping Christmas gifts or just visiting an older person who might be bored at home alone.

Some people might just like to have someone to chat with or take a walk with.

And wouldn’t it be great to have someone who could provide computer, TV and phone support?

Hine already has a small word-of-mouth referral network for reliable plumbers, landscapers, electricians, carpenters and others.

But she hopes to be to provide a phone service for such referrals.

As with any nonprofit, office help is always needed.

That’s one component of Homebase.

The other is the network of volunteers Hine envisions — neighbors helping neighbors.

Want to lend a hand?

Stop by the Homebase open house between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Monday at the State College Borough Building.

Amos Goodall, an elder law attorney, will speak, the Centre Heritage Singers will perform and Ike the Spike will ... well, he’ll be there.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome, and they’ll benefit, too.

As Hine said, it’s also a way to “bring the talents of older people to others.”

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