Senior Columbia brothers maintain independence despite disabilities

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For some Midlands seniors, age isn't even half the battle.

That's certainly the case for Landrus and Joseph Hunter, two elderly brothers who live together in a third-floor apartment in downtown Columbia just off Elmwood Avenue.

It's an entire afternoon event to walk across the street to get something to eat.

"We've got a McDonalds, Bojangles. Only problem we have is traffic in the street over there," Landrus Hunter said.

Landrus is blind in one eye and walks on a healed, but once shattered leg. Joseph had a stroke 3 months ago.

"He's coping with it," said Landrus. "And I'm coping with him."

The Hunter brothers lack transportation and are both disabled – making them viable candidates for the Senior Resources' Meals on Wheels Program.

"It's heartwarming to know that you've allowed someone to stay in their home where they wanna be," said Pam Dukes, Senior Resources' Executive Director.

Senior Resources is celebrating 50 years of serving Midlands area seniors in multiple capacities, allowing them to stay in their homes and remain independent.

One of those programs: The Meals on Wheels program. It serves disabled and home-bound adults as well as those who cannot maintain a healthy diet because of transportation or financial constraints. The current waiting list for the program in the Midlands sits at around 150 seniors.

"None of us sit at home saying I can't wait till I'm old enough to go into a nursing home," Dukes said. "And it's not because there aren't some very good nursing homes out there. It's because everyone wants to be at home."

Being home is something that someone like Landrus will never take for gr anted.

"When I had this U.S. army patch on me I never thought that would happen but it did. And I took my turn," he said. " I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it really after I got adapted."

Landrus Hunter served in the U.S. Army for 4 years, 2 months and 13 days. He counted. When he returned, he worked as a custodian at the VA Hospital in Columbia. He kept count there too: 10 years and 2 days. That was before his disabilities kept him from continuing to work. He's on permanent disability and social security.

"It was rough, but we had to do it," Landrus said.

Though this Army veteran is retired, his mission continues as his brother's caretaker - with a little extra help from a community of senior advocates that care.

"I love it. I love it I sure do," Landrus said. "It's unbelievable in a way. I thought this could never be."

If you'd like to celebrate 50 years with Senior Resources, the organization is holding its Golden Age Gala on Friday, November 3rd. It's at the USC Alumni Center and will feature heavy hors-d'oeuvres, a silent auction, and live music. Proceeds from the event will support Senior Resources' ongoing efforts to eliminate the waiting list for seniors in Richland County.

Tickets are $100 a person or $150 a couple. If you'd like to attend, you can visit their website by clicking here.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.