WARSAW — Kosciusko County is an area that takes care of its own and organizations like Senior Services are proof of that. Based in Warsaw, Senior Services provides a variety of services for local seniors age 60 and up.
Transportation is one of Senior Services’s three main offerings. For a suggested donation, seniors can schedule rides anywhere they may need to go. Priority is given to medical-related stops, followed by nutrition-related destinations like the grocery store, business-related stops like the bank and finally, anything recreation-related.
Director of Transportation Bill Keen noted that seniors should call in at least three to five days ahead of time to guarantee a ride. Pickup is door-to-door and drivers go out of their way to assist however they can, from loading and unloading groceries to buckling and unbuckling.
“We’ll even tie shoes,” Keen said.
The rides also serve as a wellness check. If someone does not come to the door when their ride arrives, the bus does not simply leave. A driver who suspects something is wrong will call 911 to make sure the senior is OK. In some cases, drivers have arrived just in time.
Even if seniors cannot make the suggested donation, they will be allowed to ride at no cost. For a return ride, the seniors only needs to contact Senior Services and they will send out the next available bus to pick them up.
All drivers undergo training and a background check and all certifications are renewed annually.
Senior Services also operates the Kosciusko County Senior Activity Center, where seniors age 60 and up can come for an hour or two or the entire day for social interaction, games and a meal. A coffee club meets at 8 a.m. every Wednesday and there is Bingo at 12:30 p.m. Thursdays.
The facility also offers a gym where seniors can walk safely, especially in the wintertime.
Activities Coordinator Tia Brown noted there is also a “Fun Day” the middle of the month. This month’s was a Christmas lunch with between 80 and 90 seniors in attendance.
While the Senior Activity Center offers REAL Services meals, many seniors find it difficult or even impossible to make it out. That is where the mobile meals program comes in. Five days a week, volunteers pick up hot meals from Kosciusko Community Hospital and deliver them to homebound seniors.
“A lot of times, that’s the only human being that senior will have interaction with that day,” Neff said.
Mobile Meals Director Jamie Krygowski added that meal delivery another avenue for wellness checks. If a senior does not come to the door for his or her scheduled meal, the volunteer can call 911 for a welfare check and, as with the drivers, there have been instances where a meal volunteer has arrived just in time.
How To Help
Kosciusko County Senior Services is a United Way program. Because it is not for profit, donations are always welcome and can go a long way in helping with the organization’s various programs.
Volunteers are also needed, Neff said. Currently, the Meals on Wheels program needs people to deliver food in the Milford and Syracuse areas. To learn more about Senior Services or to find out how to donate or volunteer, click here or call (574) 267-2012.