Volunteers of the Year: Residents Receive Statewide Recognition

Couple at Oklahoma City Retirement Community Recognized as LeadingAge Oklahoma’s 2016 Volunteer Residents of the Year 

OKLAHOMA CITY Independent living retirement community residents Clyde and Phyllis Buchanan were recognized earlier this month as LeadingAge Oklahoma’s 2016 Volunteer Residents of the Year. The two were nominated by their friends and staff at Concordia Life Care Community, a continuing care retirement community in Oklahoma City. Together, the Buchanans spent more than 500 hours last year volunteering, and their efforts include working with residents in Concordia’s memory support program, hosting in the dining room and teaching an exercise class. The Buchanans received their award in person at the 21st Annual LeadingAge Oklahoma Awards Program on March 8.

“In their five years since moving to Concordia, Clyde and Phyllis have devoted hundreds of hours toward serving their community,” Concordia Executive Director Danny Eischen said. “The Buchanans are a perfect example of the value residents who are passionate about volunteering bring to us all. It is this selflessness consistently demonstrated by the Buchanans, and many of our other residents as well, that continually energizes me and makes me proud of the community at Concordia.”

LeadingAge Oklahoma’s resident Volunteers of the Year make contributions that result in positive changes for their retirement community and help to preserve the dignity, well-being and independence of fellow residents. A music program for memory support residents is one example of where the Buchanans time and leadership has made a positive impact upon the entire community.

“Clyde and Phyllis were instrumental in helping to organize a group of independent living residents to play music every other week with our memory support residents,” Eischen said. “Clyde plays guitar and Phyllis sings. It’s a beautiful sight to see individuals with cognitive impairment smile and participate in a meaningful activity.”

Because their sing-along was so impactful for the memory support residents, the Buchanans helped organize and promote a performance for the group to sing for their family members, other residents and Concordia staff. They made props for the performers, printed programs and sent videos to out-of-town family members who were unable to attend.

“The memory support residents who participate in our sing-a-longs have brought Phyllis and me so much joy,” Clyde Buchanan said. “Volunteering for them, and for others, is an opportunity to brighten lives. We love to do it, and we are grateful to live in a community that supports us and fosters an environment of service.”