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WCCOA Marks Older Americans Month

May 23, 2018
BY TELINA FRYE - Staff Writer (tfrye@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

Across the country, older Americans - a rapidly growing population - are taking part in activities that promote wellness and social connection. They are sharing their wisdom and experience with future generations, and they are giving back to enrich their communities. They're working and volunteering, mentoring and learning, leading and engaging.

For 55 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been observed to recognize older Americans and their contributions to our communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living's Administration on Aging, every May offers opportunities to hear from, support, and celebrate our nation's elders. This year's OAM theme, "Engage at Every Age," emphasizes the importance of being active and involved, no matter where you are in life. You are never too old (or too young) to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

It is becoming more apparent that remaining socially engaged can improve the quality of life for older adults. The Wetzel County Committee on Aging utilized OAM 2018 to focus on how older adults in our area are engaging with friends and family, and through various community activities. Throughout the month, the WCCOA conducted activities and shared information about various activities and services offered throughout the county sites. One of the most exciting events was a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Hundred Senior Center on Monday, May 7. There was also a light lunch, followed by a Mother's Day painting class on Thursday, May 11 at the New Martinsville Senior Center. The Paden City Senior Center hosted a concessions/bake sale and white elephant sale on Friday, May 18, while a covered dish lunch was held at the Pine Grove Senior Center on Monday, May 21. Blood pressure/glucose testing was conducted at each open house.

Article Photos

Photo by Telina Frye
Representatives of the Wetzel County Commission, Wetzel County Committee on Aging, Town of Hundred, Hundred’s senior center, and other government officials gather to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Hundred’s senior center. The center was destroyed in July 2017 due to flash flooding.

The WCCOA encourages residents to get involved by coming to Bingo at New Martinsville on Monday and Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m., Pine Grove on Tuesdays, and Hundred has a game day on Thursdays.

Folks are also invited to come to a covered dish dinner in New Martinsville on the third Thursday of the month, in Pine Grove on the third Monday of the month, in Hundred on the fourth Tuesday, or Paden City on the second Thursday of the month.

Yoga is now offered at the New Martinsville Senior Center on Tuesdays at 8 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and is open to anyone and everyone to attend. You can follow Balanced Life Yoga, LLC on Facebook for more information.

Fact Box

Commission Proclaims Older Americans Month

The Wetzel County Commission, at its May 9 meeting, officially declared May as Older Americans Month.

The National Administration on Aging is encouraging organizations to recognize older Americans, especially in May - Older Americans Month. In honor of this, the Wetzel County Commission signed a Proclamation, proclaiming the month of May in Wetzel County as Older Americans Month. The proclamation stated the following:

Whereas, the Wetzel County Committee on Aging and the Wetzel County Commission includes countless older Americans who enrich and strengthen our community; and Whereas, the Wetzel County Committee on Aging and the Wetzel County Commission is committed to engaging and supporting older adults, their families, and caregivers; and Whereas, we acknowledge the importance of taking part in activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being, no matter your age; and Whereas, the Wetzel County Committee on Aging and the Wetzel County Commission can enrich the lives of individuals of every age with serving over 5,000 seniors in 2017; promoting home and community based services that support independent living; involving older adults in community planning, events, and other activities; and providing opportunities for older adults to work, volunteer, learn, lead and mentor. Now, Therefore, We in partnership with the Administration on Aging do hereby proclaim May 2018 to be Older Americans Month. We urge every resident to take time during this month to recognize older adults and the people who serve them as vital parts of our community. Dated this 9th day of May, 2018.

A motion was made and passed to approve the proclamation.

In related matters, Mary Ash, the Director of the Wetzel County Committee on Aging, discussed some of the needs for the senior centers in the county, such as vehicles and other expenses. One of the centers has recently had to buy a vehicle unexpectedly. A van broke down and had to be towed. It would have cost $3,500 to repair the van, and it was not the vehicle the WCCOA had planned on replacing. The WCCOA had to get a van for the meals that are transported.

Currently, the balance in the New Martinsville fund - which covers Paden City and Pine Grove, not including Hundred - is $48,239.41. The vehicle purchased was $23,934.20, leaving a balance of $24,305.21.

The WCCOA would also like to get AEDs for each senior center in the county. The WCCOA tried to obtain grant funding, but was unable.

If the WCCOA purchases strictly through Zoll Medical Corporation, the price is $6,208 and would include all of the training, performed by Zoll at each of the four county senior center sites. The price includes cases and AEDs.

Other senior center expenses include $5,000 worth of ductwork that needs completed. This would leave 13,097.21.

Also, the Paden City center needs windows replaced; this cost is $5,630, and the cost to replace an air conditioner is $4,900. There is also a porch in need of repairs; this cost is $1,600. The total cost of repairs and upkeep for the Paden City center is $12,280, while Pine Grove needs about $3,500 worth of repairs. This center needs a refrigerator, which costs about $2,500 at Wayside. Also included in this total are extras such as an air fryer, kitchen mixer, food processor, and new chairs.

It was noted another vehicle needs to be replaced, because almost all of the vehicles have almost 200,000 miles on them. That will be around $24,000, which totals $40,780 for all of these expenses.

The request was made to transfer $27,682.79 out of a funding source to help cover the expenses for New Martinsville. It was noted the Hundred center has a balance of $20,104.83, minus an invoice of $3,370.17 - leaving a balance of $16,734.66. Picnic tables were $356, leaving a balance of $16,378.66. The Hundred center has requested a flag pole and a flag, as well as a railing where the ramp is ADA compliant. They also need more chairs and a chair rack. These expenses can be used out of the $16,378.66.

The request for more funding was made. The estimated need is around $17,000. It was determined a letter of request will be needed by the commission with quotes to approve any requests for funding.

In other matters, a motion was made and approved for the proclamation - issued by the Wetzel County Commission - to proclaim the week of May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week. A motion was also made and approved for the request of the Valley High School Band to use the 4-H Camp for Band Camp at no charge on the dates of July 22-27, as well as the Magnolia High School on July 29-Aug. 4.

There are also special events throughout the year, including an annual county picnic at Town & Country Days, long-distance trips, as well as other various activities. You may check the newsletter for other activities at each site.

The Wetzel County Committee on Aging wishes to remind everyone of the variety of services they provide to residents of Wetzel County. Two specific programs that the WCCOA want seniors to keep in mind are Lighthouse Services and Fair Service, lottery-funded programs. These programs both have additional openings thanks to client-paid fees.

Lighthouse Services include in-home services that provide personal care and meal preparation for seniors, along with grocery shopping and light-housekeeping. These services are eligible to seniors who are over the age of 60 years who are medically eligible according to assessment by the center's Registered Nurse and are financially eligible by a sliding fee schedule. There is a required donation for this service.

The FAIR (Family Alzheimer's In-home Respite) program is used to provide personal care to the client and relief to the caregiver. The client must be diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Another, newer, program available for residents with Medicaid is MTM, also known as Medical Transportation Management. MTM provides rides for Medicaid Members throughout West Virginia. Members must be attending a covered medical service and have no other way to get there.

To schedule a ride, the individual needs to call MTM at 1-844-549-8353 at least five business days before the visit. According to MTM, if a person calls with less notice and the trip is not urgent, the visit may have to be set up for a different date. MTM schedules routine trips Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

When calling, be ready to provide name, address, and phone number; member Medicaid ID number; the street address and the phone number where you want to be picked up; the name, phone number, address, and zip code of the health care provider you are seeing; the date and start time of the appointment; the end time of the appointment; and any special needs, including if you need someone to ride with you. All rides must be a for a Medicaid-eligible medical service.

For more information on the MTM service, check out www.mtm-inc.net/west-virginia/members/

Also, if you need additional help understanding the program, call the WCCOA at 304-455-3220 and ask for Crystal Ratcliff

Another program available at the senior center is MorphoTrust fingerprinting. Representatives from MorphoTrust are at the senior center every other Monday.

According to www.morphotrust.com, MorphoTrust Live Scan systems are deployed with law enforcement border control agencies and corporations around the world. Fingerprints are "rolled" across a glass plate and scanned. This is faster, cleaner, and more accurate than older methods which involved the old ink-and-roll method on paper cards.

Other services provided by the WCCOA include the nutrition program, SHIP program, special events, waiver services, Medicaid personal care program, and homemaker/chore services.

SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) provides health insurance information, assistance, and referral services to seniors through the Insurance Benefits Counseling Program, a health insurance advisory service for Medicare Beneficiaries. Its goal is to provide support, information, counseling, and assistance relating to Medicare, Medicare Supplemental (Medigap), and QMB.

Waiver services are available for clients who need nursing home care, but wish to stay at home. These services must be medically ordered by a doctor. The client must meet all financial guidelines.

The Medicaid Personal Care Program is one of the most popular and helpful services. Medically oriented activities ordered by a doctor are carried out under the supervision of the WCCOA Registered Nurse. This program covers personal hygiene, dressing, feeding, nutrition, environmental support functions, and health-related tasks.

Homemaker/Chore services are rendered by trained and supervised workers who provide assistance to seniors in performing household tasks such as light housekeeping, laundry, and cooking. Preference for the service is given to those 60 years of age and older.

Telephone Reassurance provides comfort and assistance to frail, elderly persons who might be at risk. Great care is taken to ensure that these individuals are safe and well. Emergency numbers are kept on file for each senior receiving this service in the case that WCCOA is unable to reach them.

Transportation Services assist elderly persons in getting to and from the grocery store, drug store, medical appointments, and monthly hair appointments. This service enables seniors to apply for and receive services, reduce isolation, and dine at the nutrition sites. There are established routes, so please call ahead to make certain the stop you want is on the route.

Respite involves federal funding which is used to provide temporary relief to a family caregiver.

Veterans Services involve in-home care for veterans. This program is coordinated with the Veterans' Administration. To obtain this service call the VA at 1-800-733-0512, extension 3553.

Furthermore, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides financial assistance to low-income seniors to offset high utility costs during the winter months. The program is administered through the Department of Human Services, and applications are available at both the New Martinsville and Hundred sites.

Some anonymous comments about the WCCOA services are as follows:

"It means a great deal to me, especially for cleaning my bed and also the many other things that are done."

"I enjoy coming to the Senior Center."

"The young lady that helps us is so kind, friendly and a good worker."

"This program has allowed my mother to remain in her own home."

Join the Administration for Community Living and Agencies on Aging in celebrating by participating the Selfie Challenge for Older Americans Month. They want to see how you're engaging. Simply take a selfie (or have someone take your photo) and tweet it with the hashtag #OAM18.

For more information on the WCCOA, you can connect with them by calling Mary Ash at 304-455-3220 or by e-mail at wetzelccoa@suddenlinkmail.com or you may follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wetzelccoa.

You may also contact your Area Agency on Aging by visiting www.eldercare.gov/ or calling 1-800-677-1116.

 
 
 

 

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