The Barry County Council on Aging (BCCOA) was able to provide assistance to all senior citizens requesting in-home services and meals in 2009. According to Ron Shook, BCCOA president, the waiting time for services was rarely longer than two weeks last year.
"Each year the BCCOA serves a continuing client base of seniors and receives requests for services from new clients," said Shook. "The council is able to assist hundreds of senior citizens in Barry County each year, largely due to the senior citizens services tax passed by voters in 2004.
"The council's goal is to make nutritional meals and in-home services available to area seniors, who rely on these services to stay in their homes," said Shook.
Last year, over 200 area seniors received homemaker services, caregiver assistance, personal care and medical alert system services through BCCOA. A total of 8,621 hours of homemaker services and 1,863 hours of personal care services were provided in 2009.
The council also provided funding for thousands of meals, which were delivered to homebound seniors.
BCCOA is able to assist hundreds of senior citizens in Barry County due to funding received from the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging (SWMOA), the Barry County Senior Citizens Services tax, individual and church contributions, business community grants and assistance from numerous volunteers.
"This past year, the council's greatest concern was having the funds available to delivery approximately 64,000 meals to over 300 area seniors," said Shook. "The meal deliver program was fulfilled, in large part, by many volunteer drivers not accepting reimbursement for their mileage in 2009."
Meals drivers logged over 40,000 miles delivering meals to seniors in 2009.
Home-delivered meals and other in-home services are available to seniors throughout Barry County. An assessment process is used to determine which seniors qualify for meals and other services.
Seniors needing help should call the Cassville Senior Center at 847-4510, the Monett Senior Center at 417-235-3285 or the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob at 417-858-6952.