Cullman County Commission on Aging does it all for Cullman seniors

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Cullman County Commission on Aging Director Stephanie Lawson, 100-year-old SD Brock, Kim Overton of Crane Hill Senior Center, Angie Carter of Fairview Senior Center and Evon Fowler of Hanceville Senior Center (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. – The Cullman County Commission on Aging is on a mission to enhance and improve the lives of the senior population throughout the county.

As the overseer of the county’s seven full-time senior centers, the commission offers many avenues of assistance to promote well-being of Cullman’s elder citizens.

The commission is responsible for providing hot meals five days a week to its full-time centers in Colony, Crane Hill, Cullman, Fairview, Hanceville, Holly Pond and West Point. Served Mondays-Fridays, the meals are available to seniors for free of charge although donations are accepted to offset the costs.

Meals are also delivered to homebound elders living within the fulltime centers’ area of service.

Stephanie Lawson took the helm of the commission a year ago and loves her job and her ability to provide outreach to the population so near and dear to her heart.

“I am so happy that we are able to provide healthy meals to our homebound folks through Meals on Wheels. They should never be left out just because they can’t make it to our centers.”

Notable volunteers for the home delivery program are participants from the Cullman County Center for the Developmentally Disabled (CCCDD). This Friday, the commission held a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon for those special volunteers and served pizza and dessert to show their gratitude for CCDDD’s hard work throughout the years.

Help is also provided to the often times tedious paperwork for Medicare and other government programs.

“We also help folks during Medicare Open Enrollment from October 15 through December 7. We help go over the different Medicare plans to help make sure the residents are on the best plan for them and their medical needs. That’s done at our office by Sportsman Lake. We have three full-time and four part-time counselors that help with that.

“We have our SENIORRx program and that’s year-round. We help people aged 55 and over fill out paperwork from pharmaceutical companies to save on their medications. Last year, we saved participants in Cullman just shy of half a million dollars in prescription costs.”

Meals on Wheels volunteer enjoying pizza provided as a thank you by the Commission on Aging (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

Retirees and seniors also have free legal services through NARCOG at the Commission on Aging. Limited assistance for one-on-one counseling with social security questions is available as well.

While the nine part time centers throughout the county aren’t run by the commission, Lawson still feels a responsibility toward them.

“I like to go by there to help them in any way that I can. When we get donations from Wal-Mart Distribution or somewhere like that, we take the surplus out to the part time centers. If those centers provide a sign in list to us, we are able to provide a small stipend to them as well to pay for paper products.”

The part-time centers are located in Baileyton, Center Hill, Cold Springs, Dodge City, Good Hope, Hill Top, Jones Chapel, New Canaan and Simcoe.

“Each of our centers is so very unique and that’s what I love. At Fairview, they are as active as any younger person. They play beanbag baseball every day and recruit visitors to play with them. Crane Hill has a smaller group that enjoys card games and bingo. Each center has its own personality that’s made by the people that come.”

For more information on services provided by the Cullman County Commission on Aging or about a senior center in your area, please call 256-734-1241 or stop by the office at 1539 Sportsman Lake Road NW, Cullman, AL. You can also visit their website at www.co.cullman.al.us/coa.

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