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Foundation fund for local senior citizens center helps clients stay healthy, active

Age is nothing but anumber

There are more than 7,000 senior citizens currently livingin Athens.  Many of theseUnited Seniors volleyball game individuals are faced withissues such as lack of health care, mobility problems, transportationdifficulties and a shortage of social interactions. That’s where the UnitedSeniors of Athens County steps in. 

Founded in 1980, United Seniors of Athens County (USAC) is aprivate, nonprofit, multi-purpose service provider for senior citizens ages 60 andolder living in Athens County.  USAC statistics show that they help more than1,000 seniors per year, 60 percent of whom fall into a low-income bracket

“The free membership and activities allow seniors tomaintain the dignity and independence that they deserve,” said Mike Turner,executive director.

The organization offers many services for local seniors,including adult day care, transportation, health fairs, blood pressure clinics,an on-site, registered nurse and information on health care changes.  The health assessments offered through theorganization provide health screenings to more than 150 seniors annually whoare financially unable to see physicians as they should.

“The most important thing that we can do is to providepreventative care and wellness opportunities for seniors,” Turner said.

The activities offered through the organization are not onlyfor socialization but wellness on multiple skill levels.  Activities such as card games, line dancingand chair volleyball increase productivity and keep clients sharp bothphysically and mentally.

One activity in particular is quite popular around thefacility. “Walking Around the World” allows individuals to gain exercise whilewalking on a padded, heated/air conditioned track.  Each lap is recorded and counted toward thegrand total.  In the past six years, 731seniors have “walked around the world” three times, which equals 77,000miles.  The goal is to reach 1 millionlaps by the end of 2008, Turner said.

One way the United Seniors of Athens County will be able tocontinue offering these services in the upcoming years is through a recentlyopened endowment fund with the Nelsonville-based Foundation for AppalachianOhio.  This fund will help secure the futureof the organization and encourage company growth and allows donors to contributegifts that can be held until they are needed in the future.  The hope is to provide a future support systemthat will allow for the continuing assistance that the organization offers,Turner said.

“The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio gives us a vehicle tostart developing a legacy for future seniors, with their help we will be ableto offer these services well into the future,” Turner said.