Council on Aging: Filling gaps and giving back

HOLMES COUNTY ? Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Holmes County Council on Aging (HCCOA) continues to serve the seniors of Holmes County with the same love and care as they always have. 

HCCOA hosts a number of services for residents ages 60 and older, including home delivered meals, housekeeping, and respite care. Services such as housekeeping are available at little to no cost to participants depending on income level. On-site activities, such as bingo, lunch and monthly birthday celebrations, are all free.  

Executive Director Michael Brown says it is about filling the gaps. 

“Many times, people just need a little help with daily activities,” said Brown. “We are here to help them with those things, we are here to fill those gaps.” 

 Â“It does not matter who you are, what you have or do not have, or what your income level may be, we are here to help you,” said Brown. 

There are around 100 participants who take part in either in-home services or activities at the day center. Brown says the agency would like to increase that number. 

“We would love for more people to be a part of HCCOA,” said Brown. “Participants and volunteers alike.” 

 The center in Bonifay offers lunch every day at 11 a.m., along with the various activities throughout the week. The Senior Day Center where the communityÂ’s seniors are invited to visit with each other, or just relax, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The following activities are available: Monday at 10 a.m.?Bingo; Tuesday at  10 a.m.?exercise class  and Wednesday through Friday at 10 a.m. are various activities.

 Participant Susan Brown says she loves to interact with other seniors and play games offered by the center. 

“I love coming here to play bingo and win prizes,” says Brown. “We always have fun when we come.” 

Participant Dorothy Bryant says what she most enjoys is the fellowship. 

“We donÂ’t just come here for the food,” said Bryant. “We come here for the fellowship, we come to see our friends.” 

“I love coming here to just get out and socialize,” agreed Debora Waddell.

 Several of the seniors take advantage of the centerÂ’s day trips, such as a recent trip to Gulf World. 

Some even went on a fishing adventure to a local lake. Seniors say, no matter what they do, they have fun getting out and about. 

“It is fun getting to see people, to just be around others,” said long-time participant Eddie Harcus. “For some, this is our only way to socialize.” 

Michael Brown says for him, it is about giving back. “So many of our seniors have given their lives to working in Holmes County,” said Brown. “What we do here allows us to give back to them. We are proud to be able to make a difference in their lives.” 

For more information contact Holmes County Council on Aging at 850-547-9393.

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