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Examiner
  • Q5: Peggy Sowders

  • Peggy Sowders, the senior adult programs specialist for the Palmer Center, is the July Employee of the Month for the city of Independence. Recently, Sowders also began collecting interviews for the Veterans Salute program, following the retirement of Helen Matson White.

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  • Peggy Sowders, the senior adult programs specialist for the Palmer Center, is the July Employee of the Month for the city of Independence. Recently, Sowders also began collecting interviews for the Veterans Salute program, following the retirement of Helen Matson White.
    1. What inspired you to begin working with the seniors at the Palmer Center?
    I have always worked with seniors since I began working when I was 16 years old. When I was a young girl, I spent quite a bit of time with an elderly couple in our neighborhood. I have always been very comfortable with seniors.
    2. What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve taken away in your role at the Palmer Center?
    Don’t ever take anything for granted – health, friends, family. Enjoy each day to the fullest, and try to understand where someone else is coming from.
    3. I understand you and your husband are learning how to play tennis. How have the Palmer Center attendees encouraged or inspired you to lead a life toward healthy aging?
    They are role models for me every day I am at work. I have to work through our fitness room when I leave work each day. I may be very tired, but I see them working out. The window in my office overlooks our gym, and I see them playing Pickleball for four hours. Then, I know I have no excuse to not exercise.
    4. With an aging baby boomer population, what actions and programs do you think will be necessary from American society as a whole in the coming years as these residents enter their 50s, 60s and 70s?
    I see transportation as one of the largest hurdles seniors face in their lives. I hope down the road that communities will continue to find ways and funds for seniors to continue to be independent by assisting them with transportation. The city of Independence is very generous with the transportation that it provides for residents.
    5. What are several reasons you would encourage Independence seniors to check out the Palmer Center, if they haven’t already done so?
    There are so many reasons! There is something for everyone. It is a place where you can spend a few minutes or the whole day, but I bet you spend at least part of your day here. People who were once strangers here are now very good friends. That speaks volumes. It is a really great place to be. The volunteers here who donated so many hours are amazing each and every day.
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