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Moore Co. Senior Center: Finding a need and filling it

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

“Find a need and fill it” was motivational speaker Zig Zigler’s practical advice for success. Moore County’s Senior Center, under the leadership of director Kathy Jones, is committed to finding and meeting the needs of the county’s senior citizens. It is a commitment that is faced with challenges.

When Kathy became director in 2007, she had worked with senior services in Fayetteville and Lynchburg. She brought with her experience in driver dispatching from the trucking company that she and her husband owned in Georgia.

Kathy saw a need and an opportunity to expand Moore County’s transportation services. She now operates under a division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which provides funds for transporting seniors.

There are seven drivers who take care of Moore County’s transportation needs and Coffee County’s out-of-county trips. On average, they make about 60 trips a week. This has been a financial benefit to the Center, because it pays part of Kathy’s salary, the telephone service and the computers — all of which are housed in and used by the Center.

Thanks to this income, Kathy has been able to do some much-needed painting and decorating that has made the facility brighter and more welcoming.

South Central Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability provides some money for the Center’s operation. Kathy uses these funds for a part-time assistant, Ann Blalock, who handles time-consuming reports and TennCare billing. She also offers assistance to seniors who need help with the computers that are available for their use.

Moore County taxpayers contribute $8,000 a year to the operation of the Center.

During segregation, the building was the site of Highview School. It is now owned by Jack Daniel Distillery. They allow the Center to use the building rent free, pay for the utilities and provide maintenance when needed. Jack Daniel’s recently installed a new heat and air unit at no cost to the Center or the county. With the help of community volunteers, the Center hosts two salad lunches each year to raise money for the local operation.

South Central Human Resources Agency in Fayetteville provides hot lunches to the Center at a cost to the seniors of $1.25 per meal. Because that program is currently under a “meal cap,” it takes some assistance from community cooks to make sure that the number of meals available does not run out before the end of the month.

Seniors who attend the Center have their choice of a variety of activities. Rook and pool are two favorites. Others enjoy the challenge of a big puzzle. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 to 11 a.m., a group gathers for Dee Larrison’s low stress exercises.  There’s a variety of equipment for more strenuous exercise. A Bible study is taught Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., and at times a special class is offered, such as the current painting class.

The Senior Olympics are a highlight every year. They will be held Aug. 13-19 in Lawrenceburg. Moore County will be participating in shuffleboard, horseshoes, badminton and shooting basketballs. You are encouraged to come to the Center now to start training for your Gold Medal.

Anyone 50 years old and beyond is eligible for Senior Center membership for $3 annually. If you need transportation to the Center, the cost is $2 round trip. The Senior Center is handicapped accessible. Kathy also has a supply of wheelchairs and walkers, which are available for loan to the community at no charge.

As a tribute to Moore County Veterans, the Senior Center Board of Directors invites them and a guest to a home cooked lunch each Veteran’s Day.

The Senior Center was chartered in 1978. The needs of the aging today are far different than they were 35 years ago. People are living and working longer. Many older people do not live near their family. The number of grandparents taking care of grandchildren has increased.

Because we lead a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity has become a health issue. There may not be a local family doctor and people often need to see a specialist in another town.

The Moore County Senior Center needs community help to provide programs and services for this changing population. Call Kathy Jones at 759-7317 and “find a need and fill it.”

 

By JUNE PUGH (June Pugh is an award-winning writer and a contributor to The Moore County News. Her “More About Moore” column is published every other week.)

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