Services for seniors

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

MASON COUNTY — Senior citizens, and their caregivers, have the opportunity to take advantage of the many programs offered by the Mason County Action Group.

The agency operates two senior citizen centers, including the Gene Salem Senior Center in Point Pleasant and the Mason Senior Center, where meals are served each weekday at 11:30 a.m. And while there are many activities and events held at each center, the action group provides many other services, as well.

In-home care, special programs, and home delivered meals are all services offered.

According to Renae Riffle, executive director of the action group, in just nine months of the 12-month grant year, over 9,300 meals have been served to 231 seniors at the centers. She added over 16,600 meals have been delivered to seniors who are home bound.

In-home care has been provided to 157 seniors, but there are currently 120 on the waiting list to have a caregiver in their home, Riffle said. Caregivers are currently being sought by the agency.

In-home care includes case management, where in-home assessments are completed by a social worker or nurse to see what services and supplies are needed. This allows people to remain independent in their homes.

Medicaid waivers are provided to people age 18 years and over who are medically in need of nursing home care. Individuals must qualify under special guidelines. Waiver services are supervised by a registered nurse.

Medicaid personal care provides personal hygiene, grooming, meal preparation, and health-related tasks to eligible participants. Assistance with grocery shopping, light housekeeping, and laundry may also be provided.

The home delivered meals program provides nutritious meals delivered five days a week, excluding holidays. This program also provides a daily check on the senior for safety reasons. To qualify, a person must be 60 years or older and be home bound.

Special programs include in-home respite for family members of Alzheimer’s patients and Lighthouse, a program that provides personal care and light housekeeping for individuals who do not meet Medicaid requirements. Both have low fees that are based on a sliding scale according to income.

Transportation for non-emergency medical appointments, clinics or testing is provided in the Point Pleasant area. Seniors are asked to schedule the transportation at least 48 hours in advance of their appointments.

Ann Dalton serves as a “SHIP counselor” for the action group, and can provide individual assistance with Medicare issues. She can assist with finding answers to questions a senior might have, as well as help decide on the type of coverage an individual needs.

For information on any of the services, contact the action group office at 304-675-2369.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at