BOONE — While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of the 16th annual Adult Services Expo, organizers of the event have compiled a list of adult resources in the High Country in the hope of connecting individuals to advocates that may be able to provide them with assistance.
The Adult Services Expo is hosted annually by the Adult Services Coalition of Watauga County, which includes a number of local agencies such as Area Agency on Aging, Department of Social Services and Watauga County Project on Aging. Not only does the event connect individuals with assisting agencies, but it also identifies programs that the High Country could benefit from that have not yet been adopted.
“If there is a service or activity that older adults need in this community — we help them to find it, obtain it or apply for it. Most services we offer ourselves — but if we do not offer them in-house, we have the ability to help participants seek and apply for them,” said Billie Lister, director of the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone, which organizes the event.
A number of other local nonprofits also contribute to the Project on Aging, including OASIS Inc., which offers “100 percent free and confidential” services for individuals who are victims of partner violence and sexual assault.
Outreach Coordinator Sara Crouch said, “OASIS uses a model of empowerment for all services offered,” including crisis support services and support groups, advocacy programs, 24/7 crisis lines, and supportive housing programs.
More information about OASIS Inc. and its services can be found at www.oasisinc.org.
Appalachian Home Care in Banner Elk strives to “provide the utmost professional care combined with compassion and dedication,” according to the foundation’s website at www.appalachianhomecare.com/index.html.
App Home Care offers personal care services, community alternative programs, nursing services and VA services.
“My goal is to do whatever we can to ease the burden of care giving and deliver not only the highest quality health care possible but also peace of mind,” said App Home Care Founder Ellen Harrell.
The month of May is Older Americans Month, and it’s the perfect time for local seniors to not only be recognized, but to become more familiar with organizations and services available to them in their communities, Lister added.
“We understand the feelings of fear and isolation currently experienced by the seniors in our community right now with the COVID-19 crisis,” said Lister. “We want to assure them that we are still here. We have resources and are still able to offer many services. While our building has closed for the congregate nutrition and group classes, we are here to help in other ways. We encourage those in the community to call us if they have any issues or needs and let us try to assist you.”
The Lois E. Harrill Senior Center is still delivering meals and offering services such as grocery shopping and medication pick-up. Lister encourages any senior adult to call (828) 265-8090 for more details or information about utilizing services.
For more information about the Project on Aging or adult services in the area, contact Billie Lister at Billie.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (828) 265-8090.