Serving the aging population in Wood County with new grant money

10 percent of the grant is set for two new vehicles for medical support.
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 6:02 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The Wood County Commissioners received a Healthy Aging grant through the Ohio Department of Aging for $460,000 dollars. Now it’s a matter of how that money will be split and used to assist Wood County’s aging population.

Norma Hoover, 95, enjoys the independence of living at home. She receives a lunch daily from the Wood County Committee on Aging.

“If I lived in a home, they would tell me what time to get up, and I enjoy sleeping in until I’m ready,” Hoover joked.

Officials with the Wood County Committee on Aging want to keep that independence for the county’s aging population with hot lunch meals. In order to do that, they say they need newer vehicles that have seen better days.

“We are currently preparing about 900 meals, Monday through Friday, and delivering about 600 of those throughout Wood County as home delivered meals, and three hundred are going to our congregate sites throughout Wood County,” said Angie Bradford, who is the director of food services for the committee on aging.

The committee on aging is asking county commissioners to steer 20 percent of the $460,000-dollar Healthy Aging grant from the state towards its aging fleet of delivery vehicles.

“If our trucks are breaking down, I’m getting phone calls, I’m going to have to find a spare truck to go out and rescue that individual and the meal, we need to keep those temperatures under control and with these hot shot vehicles we can maintain the cold temperatures and maintain the hot temperatures during transport,” Bradford said.

They also asked the commissioners to earmark 10 percent of that grant money towards new vehicles for their health assistance program, providing seniors door-to-door service for doctor appointments.

“We have two full-time medical escort drivers, that’s all they do all day five days a week, is they get those people who need that extra support, to the doctors’ appointments,” Denise Niese said.

Niese would also like to contract with the Wood County Health Department to provide nursing services to check blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol screenings at all of the Wood County senior center locations.

“And also to do some nutritional education, at sites we haven’t been able to service because the health department now has a dietitian,” Niese said. “And we want to make an impact for Wood County Seniors.

“Again, one-time dollars, but we want to make sure that they have a life span,” Niese said.

Also on the list, officials will be looking at purchasing new laptops and tablets that include broadband connectivity to be loaned out on a six-week basis.

Niese said that the Wood County Commissioners would meet and decide how the funds are allocated.

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