First Person: Director ‘adopts’ elderly

CNJ staff photo: Tony Gutierrez Vicki Miller

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

Vicki Miller was recently appointed director of Clovis’ Department of Older Adults. She worked in the Clovis-Carver Public Library before she was approached to become interim director in June and assumed full responsibilities last week.
Miller’s department is based out of the Baxter-Curren Senior Center, but she also oversees activities at the Friendship Center.

On the job: “I love it. I was really surprised when I was offered the job. As many people they had in mind, I am the last person I expected to have a position like this.”

On the seniors: “The people are the most rewarding. They’re such a variety of age groups here. It amazes me, they’re in better health than I am. They can come here for Friday night dances and boogie away. It is a challenge to keep up with providing activities and programs for them. Without the help of two outstanding program coordinators, I couldn’t do it.”
On why she likes working with seniors: “I’ve been without parents for over 20 years, so I just kind of adopted them as my own parents.”

On the challenges of the job: “I was a quiet individual, sat around the computer and never spoke that much, but now I have to get out and actually speak to people. It’s a totally different position that I’m really having to learn a lot of areas in the job, how to deal with complaints and different things like that.”

Future job plans: “I’m trying to bring in clubs for the baby boomers. I’m trying to get computers so the seniors can get interactive. I’d like to introduce programs for the 50 to 60 age group. That way might bring more (people) into the community. I hope to be there for these seniors as best I can and help them on their journey wherever it leads them. I need to make their life as enjoyable as possible because they deserve that respect.”