As people get older, life can get lonelier.
And if people can no longer drive, it’s difficult to get out and see friends or do the things they used to do.
The Marion County Senior Center, a member agency of the United Way of Marion County, helps seniors in the county by providing transportation and day-to-day social activities.
Sandra Thomas, assistant director of the center, said the senior center is the hub for a multitude of services.
“We do non-emergency medical transportation, we can pick people up to bring them in here to have lunch, we take them shopping once a week, we have a lot of in-home care (and) we also do delivered meals,” she said, pointing out that that’s just the transportation aspects.
The center also has a social services expert to help seniors with their Medicare Part D paperwork, either at the center itself or at their home, exercise equipment and different special projects. There’s a little bit of everything.
Mannington and Fairview also have senior centers.
For many seniors, it’s the lunch that keeps them coming back day after day. It is served hot and for a donation of whatever a senior can afford, but most importantly it’s a chance to sit down and catch up with friends.
Donna Ponton has been having lunch every week at the center for about 2 1/2 years. She doesn’t drive anymore, but she and the other ladies who ride the bus to the center every day (except Thursdays) have formed their own tight-knit lunch group.
“At first I was real quiet,” she said, laughing, “but now I’m not.”