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Salute to Senior Service: Search on for state's outstanding senior volunteers

Nominate a local Arizona senior in the Salute to Senior Service program
The Home Instead Senior Care® office serving the Greater Tucson Area and surrounding communities has announced the Salute to Senior ServiceSM program to honor senior volunteers for the tireless contributions they make to their local communities.

The program will include a search for the most outstanding senior volunteer in each state and culminate with the selection of a national Salute to Senior Service winner during Older Americans Month in May.

Nominees must be 65 years of age or older and volunteer at least 15 hours a month. Nominations will be accepted at www.SalutetoSeniorService.com through March 15, 2012. Nomination forms also can be requested at ckoehler@homeinsteadinc.com.

State Senior HeroSM winners will receive plaques, and their stories will be posted on the SalutetoSeniorService.com website. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the national winner's nonprofit charity of choice.

According to research conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care® network, 52 percent of seniors volunteer their time through unpaid community service. Nearly 20 percent (one in five) of seniors surveyed started volunteering when they reached the traditional age of retirement – 65 or older. Furthermore, 20 percent of seniors who volunteer say that their community service is the most important thing they do.

"Helping others defines life for many local retired seniors," said Scott Ehrsam owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving the Greater Tucson Area and surrounding communities. "And what a difference we have observed in seniors' health, attitude and outlook among those who choose to stay active as they age."

Dr. Erwin Tan, director of the Senior Corps, a national organization that links more than 400,000 Americans 55 and older to service opportunities, agrees. "The one thing that I hear constantly from the seniors in our programs is that volunteering gives them a purpose in life – they say that it's the reason they get up in the morning.

"In addition, it's a great way for them to learn new things – whether a skill or just something about an issue in which they have an interest," Tan said. "Volunteering is just a great way to expand their horizons and feel like they're still a valuable part of their community."

For more information about the Salute to Senior Service program or Home Instead Senior Care, please call (520) 770-9943.

The Home Instead Senior Care network completed 600 telephone interviews with seniors age 65 and older in the U.S. who currently volunteer their time through unpaid community service. The sampling error is +/-4.0% at a 95% confidence level.

Home Instead Senior Care® of Tucson, AZ is part of the Home Instead Senior Care network, the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 900 independently owned and operated franchises throughout the country. The Tucson location serves the Greater Tucson area and surrounding communties. The Home Instead Senior Care network provides basic support services – activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. At Home Instead Senior Care, we provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors in the Greater Tucson area and surrounding communities.