Wayne Aging looks after county seniors

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 8/17/21

HONESDALE, PA — With the largest regional percentage of seniors in the county, it’s no wonder that Wayne’s Area Agency on Aging (Wayne Aging) offers a variety of programs and …

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Wayne Aging looks after county seniors

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HONESDALE, PA — With the largest regional percentage of seniors in the county, it’s no wonder that Wayne’s Area Agency on Aging (Wayne Aging) offers a variety of programs and creative ways to address the issues that their clients face.

“We’re proud of our senior centers,” said Wayne Aging administrator Mary Ursich. Those centers are in Honesdale, Hawley, Hamlin and also offer programs at the Northern Wayne fire hall in Lakewood twice a month.The three main centers have activities, meals and special events (including bus trips, which will start up again soon.)

The activities? Games, crafts, dancing (tap and line, according to the Wayne Aging brochure), and tai chi. “That’s very popular,” Ursich said.

They also coordinate the in-home meals (formerly Meals on Wheels) program. Some parts of the county can receive hot meals, delivered to homes, and others will receive frozen meals.

Wayne County residents age 60 and up are eligible for the congregate meals; a $2.50 donation per meal per person is suggested, to support the program. The sponsor-a-senior program is ongoing, if someone wants to cover the donation for seniors who might need a little help.

Wayne Aging wants to do more, though. “We’re open to ideas...we want to make the centers useful for everyone.”

They even loan out fans and air conditioners for people who qualify. “And all our senior centers,” she said, on a day that topped 90 degrees with high humidity, “are cooling centers.”

Ursich went into depth on the Adult Day Services program. It treats people with memory issues who are cared for by their families (i.e. not living in a care center). “We offer social activities, we do showering, they can do meds,” she said. “It’s for people who need more supervision.” The goal is to give the seniors some social and mental stimulation and look after their physical needs while the caregiver can take a break.

There’s much more: grandparents’ programs (for grandparents who have custody of their grandchildren), elder-protection services, and scam monitoring. Scammers shift techniques so quickly, Ursich said, and their mastery of technology might outpace some of our elders. It’s easy to get taken. “Loneliness can play into it. They might think it’s a grandchild calling.”

The isolation of seniors here has been a great concern, especially during the pandemic. Now that things are reopening, so is Wayne Aging and all its programs. For more information on the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging, call the office at 570/253-4262.

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