Rich Hanley, director of the Harvey County Department on Aging, would like to see local senior centers play more of a role in helping older adults remain at home as long as they can.

Hanley presented a report during the Board of Harvey County


Rich Hanley, director of the Harvey County Department on Aging, would like to see local senior centers play more of a role in helping older adults remain at home as long as they can.

Hanley presented a report during the Board of Harvey County Commissioners meeting Monday morning and said he had some ideas about new ways senior centers throughout the county could reach out to community members.

“There are some things that will be needed in every community more and more,” he said.

One of those ideas included recruiting retired nurses and other medical personnel in communities to check in on older adults and make sure they are taking their medications properly. This could help seniors maintain their independence longer, Hanley said.

Another area in which senior centers could help local older adults is providing counseling on how to utilize Medicare programs.

“It could save people thousands of dollars,” Hanley said.

Commission chair Marge Roberson said she had heard senior centers have had some difficulty recruiting younger seniors to get involved, and
Hanley agreed that was a challenge.

He said a senior center’s typical demographic is about 75 to 85 years old, and while younger seniors may be retired, they often still have hectic schedules.

Hanley would like to see senior centers continue to find ways to reach out to older and younger seniors in the community.

“They’re trying to do both,” he said. “They’re trying to help people who are home-bound, and they’re trying to get more people involved.”

He would like to see senior centers use inter-generational activities, as well, such as using high school students as Meals on Wheels volunteers. This way, all ages in the community could be involved in the centers, he said.
For more information on the Harvey County Department on Aging, call 284-6880.