Social isolation among seniors is alarmingly common, and will continue to increase in prevalence as the older population grows. Studies have shown that isolation can lead to numerous detrimental health effects in older adults, including increased risk for all-cause mortality, dementia, increased risk for hospitalization and increase number of falls. Social isolation among seniors is alarmingly common, and will continue to increase in prevalance in many communities in the years to come.
Senior centers were established to help insure that social isolation could be avoided by attending and participating in the programs that the senior center provides. There are many programs that help assist the aging population in maintaining their independence and allow seniors choices in their life.
Each year the Ava Senior Center provides tax assistance for the elderly, and this year it was able to recoup $116,000 in property tax and rebates for Douglas County and some surroundin areas. Part D programs assistance, home delivered meal, foot care, and different activities that help promote interaction with other help to prevent social isolation.
Our tax volunteer receives no pay for her service and does this to assist the people in the community.
Transportation programs through the Oats bus and volunteer opportunities are also a way of staying active in the senior center and the community.
Often family members will be the first to notice when social isolation is affecting a family member, but if family members do not live nearby it sometimes goes undetected.
Family caregivers who are helping to care for an elderly loved one may be so overwhelmed that they become depressed with the task of helping to care for a family member full time. At our agency we have information that can assist people who are trying to keep family members at home, or offer choices for the family members and their loved one.
Our meal program helps provide needed nutrition and a variety of activities help insure that people are aware of the changes to senior programs. Calendars with activities are available and list the menu, activities and health care screening available that month.
We need people to come to the center for lunch not just to receive services, but to help keep our senior center in Douglas County. Salad Bar is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week. If you need a menu substitution please contact the center by 10:00 a.m. that day and request a substitution for the day.
The suggested contribution for a person 60 years of age or older is $3.50 per person. If you are under the age of 60 and would like a meal we are required to charge $6.00 per meal. Where else can you get a nutrionally balanced meal with so many options?
We need our community to support the senior center, please come in for a meal and help keep our center in Dougals County and allow us to continue to assist people who would have to go to our center in Douglas County and allow us to continue to assist people who would have to go to Springfield or other areas to receive the service that we offer in Ava. We no longer have a Social Security Representative that comes to the Ava Senior Center. Why? Cuts to budgets cost the community the opportunity to travel a short distance to receive services. We have calls on a daily basis asking about the Social Security Representative’s next visit, many people are surprised that we no longer have a person to assist with applying for Social Security benefits.
We would especially like to see some of the people that come in for taxes and the foot clinic . Come into the center and visit with others and make new friends. Think about a table for one or coming in and seeing people you know and having a great lunch with others. If any of the churches in the area would like to set up a day to come by and have lunch once a month, please let us know and we will reserve a table so that you can eat together.
The book club meets the first Monday of each month and sometimes has lunch with us, so if you have a group that would like a clean relaxed place to have lunch, please consider coming to the Ava Senior Center.
The Ava Senior Center always needs volunteers to help with the programs, volunteering is a great way of maintaining and expressing a sense of purpose, please come by or call the center if you would like to help others at 417-683-5712 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.