MEDINA, Ohio — Medina County’s Office for Older Adults provides services for thousands of older adults and adults with a disability to live independently, but it is in need of more volunteers and employees to keep up with the demand for all of its services provided.
They provide Meals on Wheels, transportation, exercise classes, educational programs, events and more.
“Last year, we delivered 42,000 meals to people throughout every township, village and city in Medina," said Laura Toth, the director of the office. "We hit everyone last year. We provided over 6,000 rides last year, all over the county, that’s from employees, not counting our volunteer rides, and we provided another 5,000+ meals in our three service centers in Medina, Wadsworth and Brunswick.”
The office also offers a program called Compassion in Action.
“It provides those extras, that maybe our grant funding can’t provide. It provides 1-on-1 trips to medical appointments, or trips to the beauty shop, or lunch with friends. We take our seniors grocery shopping,” she explained.
Bob Hoffman has been volunteering with Compassion in Action for a year.
“It’s always a good feeling at the end of the day,” he said.
But Toth said they need dozens of more volunteers like Bob for the Compassion in Action program.
“The need for volunteers there is great. It is a wonderful system, you just say basically what areas of the county you’re willing to drive in and you’ll get an email blast asking for volunteers to take, say, Mrs. Smith to her hair appointment on Thursday,” she said.
The Meals on Wheels program’s demand has grown immensely since the pandemic and Toth said they’re looking for drivers for it, too. It is a paid, part-time position.
“We are at 180 different delivery spots in the county, so we break that up in different regions,” she said. “It’s a great job for somebody who is retired, it’s an excellent job for mom and dad to drop their kids off at school because it’s at like 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s a really great fit for a lot of people.”
The position is $12.49 an hour and offers mileage and an insurance reimbursement.
Toth said the drivers for both programs are providing much more than just meals or a lift but they’re providing friendship.
“People want companionship. They want someone to come in and just talk with them a while, visit with them — social isolation amongst seniors is a true problem,” she said. “That driver coming and saying ‘Hi, how are you, how are you feeling today,’ that might be the only human contact they have until they see the driver the next time.”
If you’d like to volunteer or become a part-time employee just click here or call 330-723-9514.
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