Most people know that the Madison County Senior Center provides activities and meals to county residents age 60 and over, but the senior center also serves as an information touchstone that provides a link to a myriad of services for seniors and their families.
Director Joe Dudley said the center feeds lunch to approximately 20 members a day, Monday – Friday, excluding holidays, and delivers another 32 meals to homebound seniors around the county. The center uses two shuttle buses and a van to provide transportation to their members to and from the center each day. Some members also drive themselves to the center.
While at the center, members have access to exercise equipment, educational programs, craft programs, quilting classes and entertainment. “We also go on some type of outing each month,” Dudley said. There is also greenhouse behind the center where seniors are encouraged to help with cultivating plants and flowers, which are then sold to the community as a fundraiser for center activities. And of course, once a year in March, the Center holds it largest fundraiser, a ham and egg supper.
In addition to these local services, The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission was designated by the Department of Human Services as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for the Northeast Georgia Region in 1974 to address the needs and concerns of older individuals and their caregivers in the twelve county planning and service area, which includes Madison.
According to assistant director Michele Kelley, the Area Agency on Aging provides information on and access to home and community based services for elderly as well as disabled persons, their families, and caregivers.
The AAA also provides a variety of services and support to allow individuals the opportunity to maintain their activity, independence, and dignity in their homes and in the community.
For example, seniors can call on the AAA for referrals for legal assistance, adult day care services and long term care options. There is also a senior employment job training program available to those 55 and over through Athens Community Council on Aging. “We are a resource connection for seniors and the disabled and their families and we have thousands of resources available to us, not just from this area, but from across the state,” Kelley said. “We strive to keep people independent and in their homes for as long as possible.”
Those seeking more information about the Madison County Senior Center or any of the listed services should call Dudley at 706-795-6250, or call the Area Agency on Aging at 706-583-2546 and leave a message about the information they are seeking. A representative will return your call. Seniors and their families also have the ability to search service resources for themselves online by going to www.negrc.org