Last Wednesday at the regular meeting of the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center at the Holiday Inn in Richmond Hill, the organization reviewed and described their duties as this region’s designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA).
In addition, Aging Services Director Sharon Dickol presented the 2008 fiscal year budget for coastal Georgia’s AAA program which was approved for just over $5.5 million.
Bryan County’s allotment will be just over $100,000 which will go toward several specific programs that are currently available to all local seniors on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a waiting list to follow if the demand is too great in one specific area.
Among the senior programs available in Bryan are congregate and home-delivered meals which are facilitated by way of the Bryan County Commission and homemaker, personal care and respite care services facilitated by Southern Home Care out of Savannah.
At the meeting, Chatham County Commission Chairman and CGRDC member Pete Liakakis doted on the meal program saying that "it’s the only meal that a good percentage of them (seniors in his district) receive on a daily basis. It’s heartbreaking to go in those houses where I’ve gone and helped with the delivery. It’s really a sad state of affair, and thank God we have this program."
Dickol explained that the government-funded AAA services are geared toward providing services that can help seniors stand on their own two feet and fill in the gaps that would allow them to live on their own, thereby eliminating the necessity to be in an assisted living environment.
"Our goal is to keep seniors out of long term care institutions," Dickol said. "To give them all the support that they need: the information, the education and the services that they need to be independent. We provide funding to contract out for supportive services, and we provide