Editor's Note: This is the next in a series of stories about the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
MARIETTA - The O'Neill Senior Center, a countywide organization in Marietta, offers a variety of services and programs for Washington County senior adults.
Several of the organization's most critical services are supported in part by the area's two United Way agencies.
Photo by Michael Erb
Lacey Poulton, left, an LPN at the O’Neill Senior Center in Marietta, and Lori Sayre, center left, activities coordinator for the center, work on a Mardi Gras craft with seniors Sandra Farnsworth, center right, and Pauline Hasley, right. The O’Neill Center, with help from two area United Way agencies, provides services for Washington County seniors.
United Way provides strong support senior services. United Way Alliance of the Mid Ohio Valley provides funding for adult day services for Belpre seniors. The United Way of Washington County provides funding to O'Neill Center in support of the organization's medical transportation service.
"Every dollar a non-profit gets means the world, and we are very skilled at making those dollars stretch," said Connie Huntsman, executive director of the O'Neill Center. "The United Way is very good at generating community support for charitable organizations. We rely heavily on United Way support and support from other community organizations."
The adult day center is designed to help seniors maintain or improve their health status and to live in their own homes for as long as possible. The program is delivered in a home-like setting with a professional staff to assist when needed. Guests enjoy the company of others while receiving nursing care, medication administration, help with activities of daily living such as showers, and nutritious snacks and meals - all while participating in fun activities with peers.
Caregivers of older adults also benefit through respite from their caregiver responsibilities while their loved one attends the adult day center. Funding from the Mid Ohio Valley Alliance has enabled the O'Neill day center to provide service to a wider range of people and particularly those with few resources to pay for needed help. The funding also helps provide transportation for some of those served by the program.
"Those people wouldn't be able to come as often without this support, maybe not at all," said Lisa Turner, services manager for the center.
United Way funding is making a difference in the lives of seniors every day. In 2013, 77 seniors were served in the Day Center for a total of 6,051 days of service provided. 81 percent of attendees were age 75 or above. Of the 77 seniors, five of those were funded through the United Way. 80 percent lived alone, were age 75 or above, and were low income. They all attended multiple times per week and would not have been able to participate so frequently without this funding.
The O'Neill Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation located at 333 Fourth St. in Marietta.
It serves as both a multipurpose senior center and a community focal point for accessing information and services for the elderly of Washington County.
O'Neill Center is accredited by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Funding support is received from the Older Americans Act administered by ODA through Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District Area Agency on Aging; United Way; Washington County Senior Services Levy, and others.
The O'Neill Center is open Monday Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information about services and programs at both facilities can be found online at www.oneillcenter.com.