Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell visited Georgetown Senior Center
Wednesday and delivered meals to three seniors’ homes as part of a
state-wide “Face of Aging” tour.
The county’s five senior centers deliver 280 meals a day to seniors’ homes, with 145 of those coming from the Georgetown center.
It is also a place for seniors to congregate and socialize.
The “Face of Aging” tour will help McConnell and the Office on Aging find ways to improve aging services in South Carolina.
They are gathering suggestions on improvements from local seniors, adults living with disabilities, families, service providers, caregivers, residents, and community leaders.
Jacqueline Elliott, manager of the Bureau of Aging Services, said she hopes the Lieutenant Governor’s tour will help bring more funding to help seniors and the senior centers to thrive.
“We appreciate him taking time out to visit us and his dedication to help our seniors,” Elliott said. “We want them to live more productive lives and stay at home if possible because that’s what they want to do.”
McConnell told the Georgetown seniors that the number of seniors in South Carolina is predicted to double in number over the next 13 years.
He said right now South Carolina has no plan or strategies in place to accommodate this growth, and the budget for aging services has been cut by 48 percent in recent years.
McConnell said he wants to change that with input from the public and the help of other government officials.
“I have met a lot of people, but not one of them has figured out how to stop time,” McConnell said, adding that most of us will be seniors one day.
In a written statement, McConnell stated: “We can no longer afford to keep kicking this can to the next legislative session or beyond the next presidential election. Serious consequences are in store for South Carolina if we fail to act.
“Finding ways to make meaningful improvements to current Aging services in South Carolina is my top priority, and I don’t understand how substantive change can be made without discussing some of these issues face-to-face.
“I want the opportunity to interact with communities across our state, hear ideas and recommendations, and address any questions that concerned citizens may have.”
S.C. Rep. Carl L. Anderson, who represents District 103 (Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties) joined McConnell for his visits Wednesday.
“He heard and saw the cry for help from the seniors,” Anderson said.
“We have about 8,000 citizens in South Carolina on an identified list to be served with meals and transportation. I am in support of this project. As the representative for District 103 I will vote as usual for money in the budget to cover the need of our seniors and others.”
McConnell told the Georgetown seniors that senior centers are on the front line for aging services.
For more information regarding the tour, visit aging.sc.gov/tour, or contact Hank Page at (803) 734-2080.
By Clayton Stairs