Council On Aging Senior Center

Published 1:26 am Sunday, December 8, 2013

The city of Bogalusa added a new building at the edge of Cassidy Park for the Senior Center. A special tax was voted in that supplied money that was to be divided, half for Cassidy Park and half for the Senior Center. This worked out really well, and the Council On Aging opened its doors to serve the seniors of our area in September of 2003.

Since that time many seniors have come to find this to be a good place to meet new friends and have fellowship with many old friends. When we get to be seniors it is helpful to find somewhere that helps us keep active, and this center has done that in a very good way, with meals five days a week, exercise and even bingo games twice a week. We have what we call parties every so often that are really just a lot of finger foods everyone brings to add to our regular meals.

There are four centers — Bogalusa, Franklinton, Angie and Pine — that serve meals five days a week. An average of some 126 clients a day are served for a total of over 2,500 each month. The agency has a group of vans that pick up those who are unable to drive themselves to the center, or to the doctor when needed. Emergency transportation is also available.

Every week there are more than 200 homebound clients who have meals delivered to them, for a total of more than 4,300 each month. This is a blessing for seniors who are unable to get out and do for themselves. Those who are able to come to one of the four sites are more or less like a family, and when one is missing they are checked on to see what the problem is. A lot of prayers are said until they are back.

One very popular activity at the senior center are the bingo games. It is interesting to watch how serious these seniors become as the numbers are called out by a volunteer. There are always several players who needed just one more number to bingo, and they are sure to let everyone know even though the prizes are donations. This is one of the main things that keep seniors active and continuing to use their mental capabilities. Idle time is not very good for older folks; any activity is helpful.

The Council On Aging main office in Franklinton houses the administrators, including Director Nancy McBeth. The main business of the organization is handled in Franklinton, and they all do a lot of work to keep everything working smoothly to supply food and to help the seniors in this area. Each Senior Center site has a number of employees, including office workers, kitchen helpers, many drivers and others who do counseling and assistance for newcomers who come. In addition, each site has a site director who more or less handles the management of the food for each client as well as all the paperwork.

The Bogalusa site provides food for some 50-60 people every day, Monday through Friday, and they all consider themselves a family. Many new friendships have been made since the new center on Willis Avenue opened, and many have been clients since the opening. It is heartwarming to see the help the drivers give to their passengers with handicaps. Through the years there have been many cases where those who are able volunteer to help bring meals to those who cannot get up and down, especially when the kitchen help is busy. It seems that everyone wants to do whatever they can to help others, and it makes lasting friendships.

All the clients of all four of the centers are very thankful for the blessings we have received through this agency. We certainly want to say thanks to the taxpayers for the financial support and to the city for the provisions and support for us all.

We are all thankful to our good Lord for His guidance and help. May He continue to bless us all today and in the days to come.