MASON COUNTY — Mason County’s senior citizens, as well as their caregivers, are offered many services through the non-profit organization Mason County Action Group, Inc.
According to Renae Riffle, executive director, the agency provides meals in a congregate setting at two senior centers in Point Pleasant and Mason, as well as home-delivered meals. The in-home care services program provides care to eligible individuals, as well as allowing family caregivers a break, all supervised by registered nurses. In addition, there are special programs helping those with Alzheimer’s, veterans, and providing transportation.
Senior centers are located at 101 Second Street in Point Pleasant, and the corner of Second and Horton streets in Mason. Lunches are served in both each weekday at 11:30 a.m. While donations are accepted, no one is denied a meal due to inability to pay.
Among the other activities at the centers are guest speakers on various topics, eye exams, hearing tests, and blood pressure and sugar screenings. Socialization is also offered in the way of bingo, music, exercise and church services.
April activities at the Mason center include a presentation by Ann Dalton on “How Medicare Works with Federal and Military Benefits” on April 3 at 11 a.m. Regular weekly activities include bingo on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.; Healthy Steps Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.; and music and church service on Fridays at 10:30 a.m.
In Point Pleasant, Tammy Raines of RSVP will present “Senior Volunteers” on April 10 at 10 a.m., while Frank Bibbee of Amedisys will be at the center on April 17 at 10:30 a.m. A Veterans Administration representative will visit on April 18 from noon to 2 p.m., and Sara Gore, community educator with Holzer, will be at the center on April 24 at 10:30 a.m. Weekly activities include bingo on Mondays and Fridays, the Senior Center Country Band on Wednesdays, and church service on Thursdays, all at 10 a.m.
The home delivered “Meals on Wheels” program is provided to eligible seniors, including those 60 years and older who cannot leave their homes due to illness or disability. The meals are also delivered to those who are physically or mentally unable to obtain food and prepare meals, and who have no one to do it for them.
In-home care services include case management, Medicaid waivers, Medicaid personal care, and private pay.
A licensed social worker or registered nurse provides in-home assessments to assist seniors in obtaining needed services and supplies in order to remain independent in the home. Riffle said the services include, but are not limited to, social, educational, health and medical needs.
The Medicaid waiver service is provided to people age 18 and over who are medically in need of nursing home care. To qualify, individuals need to be eligible for Medicaid waiver under special guidelines. Waiver services are supervised by a registered nurse.
The Medicaid personal care program provides services to people age 18 and older who are eligible for Medicaid and determined by a physician to be in need of services because of physical and mental impairment. Individuals must need assistance with personal care activities such as personal hygiene, grooming, meal preparation, range of motion exercise or other health related tasks. Assistance with grocery shopping, light housekeeping and laundry may also be provided. Personal care services are also supervised by a registered nurse.
Individuals who do not qualify for any other program can choose to receive services through private pay, Riffle said.
Among the special programs is family Alzheimer’s in-home respite. Specially trained staff provides necessary relief for family members of those with Alzheimer’s to find time to rest, shop, take care of personal business, or whatever the need may be while knowing their loved one is safe. The program is state funded and requires a low fee payment by the client, with the amount determined on a sliding scale based on income.
The Lighthouse program is designed to provide personal care along with light housekeeping for those who may not meet the requirements of Medicaid programs. This program is also state funded and requires a low fee payment by the client, with the amount determined according to income.
Home health aide and respite services are also provided to veterans. The veteran must meet the requirements as outlined by the Veterans Administration.
Finally, transportation is provided for non-emergency medical appointments, clinics or testing facilities. The program also provides transportation to and from the Point Pleasant Senior Center so the seniors can enjoy the socialization and meals. Light shopping trips may also be available. Seniors are asked to provide notification at least 48 hours prior to the appointment date.
Additional information on any of these programs can be obtained by calling the action group office at 304-675-2369.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.