December 2017

January 18, 2018


From the CEO...


It’s hard to believe that this will be the last issue of Lifespan for 2017.  It has been a most successful and exiting year!  We continue to be challenged in aging services in serving a constantly growing elderly population in need of in-home             services in order to maintain their independence in their homes and communities. 


As we end this year and look forward to another, we are grateful and appreciative for the ongoing support of our community!  The financial generosity of individuals, groups and businesses has been especially important. The response of support for the Blizzard Box program has been exceptional this year.  Our auxiliary, the Friends of the Area Agency on Aging has had the most successful charity auction to date!  Our volunteer program continues to grow from every age group and with varied backgrounds, with the common purpose of serving our seniors.  Our volunteers help make the lives of others a little better.


Our Tree of Stars annual appeal is now under way with the goal of exceeding the success of last year. All of these fundraising efforts help to fill the gaps that government funds just cannot address. Our success with these methods have provided funding not only for nutrition, but also for medication management, medication boxes and personal emergency response units. In addition, we have been able to               provide several GPS units that have proven extremely helpful for those with Alzheimer’s Disease or other cognitive impairments and have made the lives of family caregivers just a little less stress-filled.


On behalf of the thousands of elders whom we serve, the Board of Directors, the Advisory Council and the staff; please accept our genuine thanks for your support and encouragement in this mission of service. Please commit with us as we look forward to another year to serve those who need us most.



Wishing you all the

Happiest of  Holidays!


Kathleen Gillespie, CEO

Staff Development



On Monday, August 28, we welcomed Thomas Bezilla and Laura Nearhood as Registered Nurse Care Managers. This position performs home and/or facility visits to assess customers’ functioning & needs, establishes individualized action plans to help ensure consumers’ safety and independence, and provides ongoing care management. 


Thomas has worked in our local hospital systems since 1984, when he began employment as a RN in the Intensive Care Unit at DuBois Regional Medical Center.  After a few years at DRMC, Tom began employment with the Clearfield  Hospital, first as a RN in the ICU and later as 3rd shift Nursing Supervisor.  Tom continued his career with Clearfield Hospital/Penn Highlands, serving as a RN Clinical Analyst in the Management Systems Information department for over 20 years. Tom’s duties involved  building & maintaining nursing/ancillary/patient management systems including registration, order entry, and result reporting. He also trained staff on clinical applications. Tom’s most recent employment has been as a Clinical Analyst for Penn Highlands Health Care in DuBois. Tom earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Penn State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Francis University.


Laura has been in the nursing field for over 20 years.  She worked as a Staff RN at Penn State University – University Health Services in State College, where she first served in the surgical/pediatrics department. Later, Mrs. Nearhood provided care to college students. Laura also has a long history with Clearfield Hospital/Penn Highlands where she has provided in-depth assessment of, and care to, critically ill patients in both the Emergency Room and Intensive Care Units. Laura earned her Associate of Applied Science degree from Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA.





The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging’s annual “Tree of Stars” Holiday Appeal is now underway. All of us know and appreciate older family members, friends, and neighbors. “Tree of Stars” is an opportunity for you to honor or remember these special elders through a monetary gift. Funds raised through the Appeal provide support for AAA programs such as Meals on Wheels & More and in-home services. Your gift will go far in serving others with a meal or an hour of personal care.


For each donation given, a personalized white star with the donor’s name is hung on the holiday tree displayed at the corner of Front and Locust Streets in Clearfield. A gold colored star will be hung on the tree for those donors who give $50 or more. In addition, donors at the $50 level will receive a 2017 Wendell August hand-forged Christmas ornament.


We would like to thank our Tree of Stars sponsors,

Action Graphics Printing & Sign Making and wOKw-FM, for their continued support!

Tree of Stars Holiday Appeal


I am/We are pleased to donate the following amount to the Holiday Appeal:   ___ $100  ___ $50  ___ $25 ___ Other: $  ___ 


I would like my donation to fund:___In-Home Services ___Home Delivered Meals


Circle One: In Memory of / In Honor of: _____________________________                                                                                                                                                                            

Send receipt to me at:           


Name: _____________________________


Address: _____________________________


City, State & Zip:_____________________________


Send acknowledgement of memorial to:


Name: _____________________________




City, State & Zip:_____________________________


All major credit cards accepted. Type of Card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, etc.):


Card #:  _____________________________


Expiration Date: _____________________________




Make checks payable to:  Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., PO Box 550, Clearfield, PA  16830


Thank you for your support!

22nd Annual Anne S Thacik Charity Auction a Success!



The community once again showed their support of the Area Agency on Aging and the older citizens of Clearfield County at the 22nd Annual Anne S. Thacik Charity Auction held on             October 12, 2017, at the Knights of Columbus, Clearfield. The Friends of the Area Agency on Aging Auxiliary raised over $23,000 to support Agency programs and services.


Attendees participated in a silent auction, various small games of chance and raffles before the live auction kicked off. Local celebrities, Bob E Day, Pat Errigo and Stephanie Errigo served as our master of ceremonies and auctioneers, respectively. 


The charity auction is named after Anne S. Thacik, who saw the need to help the elderly, not only in Clearfield County, but across the state. She was a strong advocate for senior citizens and was instrumental in forming the Auxiliary of the Area Agency on Aging known as the Friends of the Area Agency on Aging. While serving as president of the auxiliary, she started the first Wreaths for Reasons & Seasons Auction. The event has grown   tremendously since that first auction and is now one of the premier events in the county.


The Agency would like to thank everyone who was involved with this year’s auction. Each year, individuals, businesses, and organizations support our event by generously giving their time, talents, goods and services. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.



Blizzard Project



Thank you to all businesses, organizations and individuals who have already donated to the 35th Blizzard Box project;  we      surpassed our goal! With the help of the Wal-Mart Distribution Center #6027, volunteers, and CCAAA  Advisory Council Members, agency staff recently packaged over 850 Blizzard Boxes. These boxes, containing an assortment of non-perishable foods that are equal in nourishment to three traditional hot Meals on Wheels, were then delivered to all Meals on Wheels & More recipients to use on days of inclement weather which prevent their normal meal from being delivered.


For more information about the Blizzard Box project and Meals on Wheels & More, please contact the Agency.



Honor the memory of a loved one with a Blizzard Box donation! Thank you to everyone who has already contributed.

Visit to make a doantion today!



Health & Wellness: Alone for the Holidays?


If you are planning to spend the holidays by yourself, be open to new ideas and opportunities to get in the spirit of the season.

The holidays are a great time to be with family and friends.  But if you’re alone this holiday season, don’t be blue. Some people struggle with being single this time of year. You may be spending your first holiday without a spouse, or the kids have grown and moved away. Perhaps you’re short of finances and can’t enjoy the holidays as you’d like. Or maybe you simply don’t have a date for New Year’s Eve.  Know that you’re not alone!


Try to reverse any negative feelings and make a point to enjoy the spoils of the season:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.

  • If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.  Many Charitable organizations need extra help during the holidays.  Donating time, food or personal supplies might give you something to feel good about.

  • Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.

  • Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if  others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.





Go to or call 814-765-2696 to find a Center for Active Living near you!


Clearfield Community Lifelong L