Council gives seniors independence

Published 12:40 am Monday, December 14, 2009

NATCHEZ — The Concorida Council on Aging does more than fill stomachs with daily meals.

Director Dorothy McDonald said the agency creates a sense of independence for the parish seniors it serves.

The council provides activities and meals at two congregate sites in the parish, one in Vidalia and one in Ferriday and delivers hot meals to shut-ins.

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They also provide some transportation within the parish and limited housekeeping services.

“We try to place people with the services they need within our agency as well as others,” McDonald said. “It allows them to remain in their own home and live somewhat independently.”

Currently the council has approximately 400 active members and nearly 1,000 seniors enrolled in the program.

To qualify, seniors must be 60 years old or older and reside in Concordia Parish.

Throughout the year the council provides education programs, health and wellness screenings and recreation opportunities along with serving meals during the week.

McDonald said to continue offering these services and to add more as the need arises, the council needs supplies, volunteers and money.

“Right now, and all the time, we need paper products at the two sites and people to do home delivery of the meals,” McDonald said. “We do get funding, but we only get a certain amount each month. There is always a need for more.”

McDoanld said paper products like toilet paper, paper towels and napkins can be dropped off at the Concordia Council on Aging office at 405 Carter St. in Vidalia or at either of the congregate sites in the parish.

The Vidalia site is located at the Vidalia Mill site on Texas Street and the Ferriday location is on Texas Avenue.

McDonald said she is always looking for new programs to offer to the membership. Any community member or organization that has an educational or wellness program to present at the council should contact McDonald at 318-336-7887.

Volunteers to deliver meals or serve meals at either of the sites should contact McDonald at that number as well.

She said the more services the council can provide means more security and independence for the seniors in Concordia Parish.

“When you think about it without some of the things we offer, these people might have to face entering a nursing home or moving in with family members,” McDonald said. “This gives the them the opportunity to stay at home for at least a little bit longer and feel better about themselves.”