>Two Oldest People at Fair Are State of the Heart Patients

>This year on Seniors Day at the Darke County Fair, two local women were honored for their longevity and for being the two oldest people at the fair. The oldest person at the fair was 103 year-old Thelma Shives, and right behind her was Florence Greenhoff who celebrated her 100th birthday in May. Both women are from Greenville and each is a State of the Heart Hospice patient. And, for each octogenarian, hospice has a special place in their hearts.

“I find the hospice folks to be so calming and reassuring to me,” explains Florence, or “Flo” as she prefers to be called. Born near Beamsville, she recalls going to the fair over the years and winning some blue ribbons for her baking and floral arrangements. Thelma thinks her hospice care is “wonderful.” She adds, “They (the staff) treat me real good, but then again, they treat everybody the same way. They put themselves out for you. I can’t say enough good about hospice.”

State of the Heart caregivers focus on quality of life for patients, enabling them to continue to live life to the fullest. Both Flo and Thelma live independently, with hospice caregivers visiting them regularly.

Thelma recalls her years attending the Darke County Fair. “When I was a girl we tried to get there early to make sure we had a place to tie the horse and buggy. Mom would fry chicken and we would have our lunch at the fair. “

Last year, when she was “just 99,” Flo went to the fair three different days, taking her motorized “scooter” on the Greenville Transit and riding around the fair on it. She took the scooter again this year. Thelma says she enjoyed her day at the fair this summer. “I love the kettle corn and the apple dumplings, and of course the corn on the cob. I had two of those this year.”

Thelma thinks she has gone to about every fair since she was born. “I am sure my mother took me when I was a baby. It was a big deal for our family. I have been attending for at least 100 years.” She had another connection with the fair: Her husband’s father was the groundskeeper for the fairgrounds.

Both women are outgoing and enjoy talking with visitors, and recalling days gone by. Thelma was a hairdresser most of her life and Flo says she did a variety of things including running a lunch counter in the lobby of the Third National Bank in downtown Dayton. Flo likes to keep busy and enjoys playing a variety of musical instruments and likes to play solitaire on her computer at home. Thelma tends to her housekeeping chores and crochets dish cloths. Both say they enjoy their independence and credit hospice care givers for their being able to live independently.

Flo’s daughter, Darlene, who lives in Florida, says “having State of the Heart hospice care brings comfort to both my mother and me. She knows that someone will always be checking on her, which is reassuring to her and gives her peace of mind. She looks forward to the visits from the caregivers.”

State of the Heart Hospice is nearing 30 years of care to the community. The non-profit agency cares for families and patients in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. Visit the agency web site at www.StateoftheHeartCare.org.

Flo Greenhoff is pictured playing one of her musical instruments. Thelma Shives enjoys showing her crocheted dish cloths.
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