To the Editor:
In this time of staying at home and social distancing, the Wood County Committee on Aging has been very busy. Although our eight sites are closed, we have been able to maintain staff and use their skills and expertise. Not only have they been working their own jobs, they have stepped into other roles and have done a tremendous job.
Two questions face the WCCOA. How do we foster resilience and how can we adapt rapidly?
The biggest challenge has been the continuation of meals. While congregate meals are currently not being served, the production kitchen is preparing and delivering 750-800 home delivered meals daily. Each week the kitchen sends out an average of 850 frozen meals for weekend and evening meals. Because of supplier difficulties, the kitchen has been making their own frozen meals. The regular routes now are approaching 45 clients each. With growing numbers of participants, three new routes have been created. Wood County Senior Center staff has been delivering the new routes.
Several weeks ago, we created and delivered 11,200 shelf stable meals (two weeks’ worth of food and supplies for each of our 800 homebound clients.) The overwhelming task was completed with help from local businesses, elected officials, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Bowling Green.
The senior center sites will remain closed at least until the end of May. Site managers are still working, editing manuals and developing a Rural Route Directions Manual. Each has done a deep cleaning and organizing of buildings. Several managers have also taken over delivering meals.
The social services staff continues to provide medical transportation, calling clients and doing wellness checks. They have also taken on meal routes and cleaning duties.
The programs staff has been busy with developing newsletters, creating programming using Zoom, and making home activities. They have also assumed different roles to help.
While all of this has been going on, the actual construction of the new senior center has begun. Mosser Construction has been moving earth and making preparations for digging the basement.
The administration, supervisors and staff are all to be commended for their positive attitudes and ability to adjust. They have stepped up to meet the challenge in these trying times, never forgetting the goal of serving seniors. We are blessed to have them.
Eric Myers, President
WCCOA Governing Board