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Beaver Falls woman honored for work with seniors

| Monday, Nov. 26, 2012,
Pa. Dept. of Aging-provided photo of Ruthanne Bentley, one of five people recognized recently by the department for their work with the elderly

Ruthanne Bentley likes to say her career has kept her “aging in place.”

“I started with the Girl Scouts, now I'm with older people,” said Bentley, 66, of Beaver Falls, one of five people the Pennsylvania Department of Aging recognized recently for providing leadership, inspiration and service to older people in their communities.

The department honored Bentley for her work as a member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council on Aging, and for coordinating a Primetime Living Expo for people searching for information and community resources geared to the elderly.

The Pennsylvania Council on Aging presented its leadership awards in Gettysburg during its annual conference. The council advises the governor, the General Assembly and the Department of Aging on the planning and delivery of services for older Pennsylvanians.

“The Pennsylvania Council on Aging is an invaluable advisory resource for the department,” Secretary of Aging Brian Duke said. “These five award recipients embody the spirit of compassion and dedication that have made this council great, and I am glad to see them recognized for their efforts.”

Bentley served on the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council on Aging for 15 years, including nine years as regional chair, and on the Pennsylvania Council on Aging for nearly a decade.

She enjoys the work.

“When I came on this, some members of the council were well into their 90s,” she said. “They were such a neat group of people.”

She worked the past 13 years at the Beaver County Office on Aging, where she is primetime health director and volunteer coordinator, and handles community outreach programs.

Before that, she worked for 11 years as project director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer program of Beaver County.

“She's always looking out to help people,” said her husband, David, 76. “She makes friends easily. People seem to take to her.”

Her Primetime Living Expo in September at Beaver Valley Mall brought together seniors and experts to discuss living options — from staying in their homes to continuing care.

Other recipients of the council's leadership awards are Marie Beauchamp of Orwigsburg in Schuylkill County; Dolores D. Hagerstrom of Exton in Chester County; Robert K. Wargo of Petersburg in Huntingdon County; and Michael F. Gallagher of Erie.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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