Published on January 31, 2017
Alyce Tokus, 102, has been volunteering at Phoebe Allentown for over 27 years. She began volunteering when her husband, Leonard, was a resident. Alyce lives independently at the Terrace at Phoebe Allentown and volunteers three mornings each week in the Community Life office of the Health Care Center. “All the employees are good to me,” she says. “It makes it a pleasure to come in and help.”
The Community Life staff are such fans of their eldest volunteer that they recently celebrated her birthday at the annual volunteer holiday party. Two construction workers with a fire extinguisher led the cake procession since the full sheet cake sported 102 lit candles. Alyce made a great attempt to blow them all out but also had a little help from her many admirers.
Maureen Stauffer, Community Life Assistant at Phoebe Allentown shares an office with Alyce and says that the 102-year-old has a better memory than most people 40 years her junior.
In addition to typing cards for each new admission and recording room changes, birthdays, activities they have attended, and other vital information, Alyce also records new volunteer information and on her own time visits with residents who live or are rehabbing in the Health Care Center.
She also keeps a full social life, joining in on the group trips run by the Terrace and meeting with friends from church.
“It is all her attitude,” says Stauffer about her longevity and active lifestyle, “even when things go wrong for her.” Stauffer cites the example of when Alyce began to use a walker for extra stability. Instead of being frustrated, she said, “I’ve lived this long and I am entitled to a little help now.”
She often says things like, “People are so good to me. I am the luckiest person in the world,” adds Stauffer.
Where Alyce goes, happiness and smiles follow.