By Pat Maurer
Since October 1, 2009, Clare County has been operating its own Senior Services and meal sites, taking over the program from the Clare-Gladwin Council on Aging.
The program offers Congregate Meals at four senior dining centers throughout the county, “providing area seniors with fun, food, friendship and an opportunity to remain connected to the greater community.”
The budget totals $865,269 annually. Funding sources for the county programs are from grants provided by Region VII Area Agency on Aging and Office of Services to the Aging; millage, donations and program income.
The department staff includes: Director Lori Ware; Nutrition Director Carol Majewski; Pogram Coordinator/Social Worker Jane Iutzi; and Case Coordinator/Social Worker Verna Davis.
Jennifer Kendall of the Senior Services office said, “Our four sites serve a well-balanced meal Monday through Friday for a suggested donation of $2.25 for each meal. We do ask that participants make a reservation a day in advance. We also offer a cold supper sack to take home for dinner when requested. Visit a center for a menu and site specific information. I would love feedback on what the community would like to see happen at their center because it is their center.”
Locations for the meal sites are: in in Harrison at the Hayes Township hall at 3821 Grant Avenue – phone 539-5161; in Lake at the DAV Building at 9480 School road – phone 544-2836; in Lake George at the Lincoln Township Hall at 175 Lake George – phone 588-9841; and in Clare at the Clare Castle complex on Fourth Street downtown, the main meal preparation site for the county – phone 386-7130.
The 6,700 square foot facility in Clare, with a new commercial kitchen, is on the first floor of the four-story senior housing complex.
The Home Delivered Meal Program, manned by volunteer drivers, delivers meals to homebound seniors and spouses who are unable to adequately prepare their own meals.
In-Home services are also a feature of the county program. According to the brochure, “Senior Services Case Managers visit clients in their homes for a confidential assessment of the challenges they face while living independently.” The Managers develop a personal care plan and offer referrals to other service providers and programs.
Medical Transportation is available through the United Way funders. Volunteers transport clients to and from medical appointments.
Personal Care, another aspect of the program, provides help to primary caregivers, offering a reprieve from the duties by offering companionship, supervision and assistance to frail elderly persons. They offer help with daily living activities for frail individuals such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, eating and general moving about.
Homemaking Services provide assistance with routine activities to maintain a clean and safe environment for seniors, including light housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation and laundry.
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion provides information and support to seniors assisting them in avoiding illness and improving their health. Services may include health risk assessments, health promotion programs, medication management, disease prevention, mental health screening and physical fitness activities.
For more information contact the main offices in the Clare County building at 225 West Main Street, Harrison. The phone number is 989-539-8870. The website is www.clareseniorservices.org.