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Westerly resident is a ‘friendly face’ for health care, PATH residents

LaNelle Hancock, pictured at left, visits with health care resident Mary Johnson during one of LaNelle’s volunteer shifts at Presbyterian Manor. LaNelle and Mary often take the time to catch up on Mondays and Wednesday evenings when LaNelle visits with residents who live in the health care and PATH areas.

Every Monday and Wednesday evening, LaNelle Hancock visits the health care and PATH neighborhoods.

“I’ll start down the hallway, and if a door is open, I’ll go in and introduce myself,” said LaNelle, who has lived in independent living at the Westerly with her husband, Ervin, since October 2019.

If the resident feels like talking, LaNelle stays and chats for a few minutes. She makes sure to bring news about her neighbors to former residents of the Westerly. Often, residents want to talk about recent family visits or how they’re feeling. LaNelle always asks if there’s anything she can do to make them feel more comfortable.

“It means a lot just to see a friendly face,” she said.

The pandemic interrupted her volunteer schedule, but LaNelle is glad to have returned to the PATH and health care areas this fall.

“I may be in their position someday, and if I am, I would like people to visit me,” she said. “I feel it’s the least I can do.”

LaNelle arrives at 6 p.m. and stays for an hour or more, depending on how many doors are open and how talkative residents are feeling.

“It’s rewarding to walk in the door and hear, ‘Oh there she is!’” LaNelle said. “It makes me feel good to know they’re happy to see me. I feel like I get as much out of it as they do.”

Amy Watson coordinates the volunteers at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. If you are interested in volunteering in our community, let her know! She can be reached at or 316-942-7456 extension 1511.

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