Homeshare helps local senior

VERGENNES — Sharing their home was something Lauraine Warfield and her husband, George, always loved to do. They often housed graduate students during his career as a professor.
When George became ill, the family thought that Lauraine could benefit from a loving presence in the home and contacted HomeShare Vermont. The day when Lauraine met her first homesharer, George passed away. The family wondered if perhaps George decided his wife would be in good hands.
Having someone in the home helped Lauraine as she grieved. Her homesharer brought companionship and made cream custard when that was all Lauraine wanted to eat. Her family felt peace of mind having someone there at night, but they worried when the homesharer decided to move out of state.
But then they met Alex Traxler. Alex, 22, came to Vermont for college and had recently graduated with a degree in neuroscience. Her experience as a hospice volunteer, as well as her respect for elders, brought her to HomeShare Vermont. She liked the idea of home sharing to help her get to know the local area and people. Her love for rock-climbing, hiking, and everything outdoors made Lauraine’s home just outside Vergennes a perfect fit.
On the day HomeShare staff visited, Alex practiced her harp while Lauraine enjoyed a home cooked meal. Alex writes notes, decorated with elaborate, colorful drawings, to remind Lauraine of the day’s activities.
“I get such a kick out of these!” Lauraine says.
The attention Alex gives to those notes provides just a little glimpse of the consideration and care she brings to their relationship.
Lauraine brings just as much joy to Alex’s life, she says.
“She and her family are so wonderful,” Alex says. “They’ve taught me the importance of relationships in leading a full, happy life.”
She’s learning the value of the little things in life by seeing the joy Lauraine gets from her evening can of Dr. Pepper and watching the birds at the feeders.
“Seventy years ago, dance brought me together with George,” Lauraine recalls about the man she would later marry.
Seven decades later, music and dance continue to bring her joy. Lauraine and Alex discovered that they met once before at a Celtic dance prior to homesharing, and this past summer they attended an Addison County street dance together. Lauraine, now 91, continues to dance, most recently to Frank Sinatra in the living room, with Alex.
Editor’s note: This story was provided by Janice Szabo of HomeShare Vermont, which is based in South Burlington.

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