Authored by: Wendy Ford, President/CEO, Osceola Council on Aging
The Osceola Council on Aging and Osceola News-Gazette are collaborating to bring you the “Council’s Corner,” a monthly platform written by key employees of the Council on Aging to share our expansive offering of services and programs supporting low-income residents of Osceola County. Each month, we will educate readers on the council’s latest news, happenings and events, as well as highlighting the many opportunities for local residents to become involved in supporting the most vulnerable residents of our community
The Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) has been providing food assistance programs to the Osceola community for more than 50 years. As our community has grown in population, the need for expanded nutritional assistance services has followed that same trend. In 1971, the Council began delivering meals to homebound seniors as part of our basic food assistance outreach services; in 1975 our organization became a designated Meals on Wheels (MOW) provider. Additionally, we began offering congregate meal services through our Dining Club while implementing a local Food Pantry. Presently, the OCOA supports more than 2,000 Osceola households, annually, with expansive nutritional assistance… READ MORE
Entering its 50th year, the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) is the largest social services organization in Osceola County providing an expansive array of social programs to meet the many needs of area residents.
Though our name implies services for just the elderly, our scope of support extends to families, disabled adults and the disadvantaged. Our hope is, if we can better support our seniors and/or local families in need, they will manage and cope with future crises and financial challenges.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic filled us with challenges for each of us, our families, our community, and our staff.
As we, hopefully, approach the end of this pandemic, we are moving forward with hope and faith that we won’t ever have to endure another international crisis. Secondly, we can strive to be thankful for what we were able to accomplish this past year under such… READ MORE
The month of May is designated as both Older Americans Month and Mental Health Awareness Month.
With these two designations important to the many seniors across our country as well as community residents who depend on the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA), we felt it important to observe both designations involving agerelated needs and wellness initiatives for the Osceola community.
So, what is Older Americans Month? The designation was created after a meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens. The council pushed to create an initiative to acknowledge the many contributions senior Americans have… READ MORE
April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), a nationwide initiative to address the health needs of minorities in the United States, including Hispanics, Asians, African Americans and Native Americans.
The goal of NMHM is to help eliminate the disproportionate strain of premature death and preventable illness and disease in minority populations. The expansive, annual initiative is managed nationally and executed through prevention, early detection, healthcare management and control of… READ MORE
For the 15th year in a row, the Osceola Council on Aging will host its highly anticipated March for Meals St. Patrick’s 5K Run/Walk event.
The fundraiser, which began in 2006 to support the council’s Meals on Wheels program, will again be sponsored by the Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), and held Saturday, March 13, at Kissimmee Lakefront Park, 201 Lakeview Drive in Kissimmee.
March for Meals, one of the council’s annual fundraisers was created to raise awareness of senior hunger in the Osceola community, while supporting our Meals on Wheels assistance initiatives. The mission in hosting March for Meals continues to be concurrent with that of previous years, to feed those in our community who are unable to prepare and feed themselves, our necessities and obligations have continued to evolve based on the… READ MORE
February is known as the month to celebrate Valentine’s Day and commemorate Black History Month, but what you might not know is February is also designated as National Senior Independence Month; the perfect time for Osceola seniors to celebrate their independence while taking steps to maintain that autonomy.
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the term “independence” constitutes the state of “wanting or being able to do things for yourself and make your own decisions, without help or influence from other people.” As our friends and family age, it is normally our goal (and theirs) to stay selfreliant if possible. With that stated, it is always important we be “dependable for them when needed,” while also encouraging them to… READ MORE
What a year!! 2020 will go down in history as one of the toughest years we have gone through. At the end of December, we had essentially lived through nine months of unknown, unsettled, and uncertainty related to COVID-19, political agendas’, and civil unrest. 2020 fueled widespread fear on many levels whether it was health, financial, social concerns and/or interaction with friends and families across the nation.
I believe we can agree that the unknown is often considered mysterious, dark, and downright scary. As H.P. Lovecraft, an American writer said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Well, I would say that statement has hit us all sometime during this past year.
So how do we move forward from this much uncertainty? With the COVID-19 vaccine having come to fruition in record time and many in… READ MORE