Council’s Corner | Guest Columns

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.


How do we move forward from 2020?
Tuesday, December 29, 2020

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


Want a chance to win a Subaru Outback?
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Who wants to win a 2021 Subaru Outback?

We are thrilled to announce that Subaru America, Inc., and the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) have partnered to raffle a Subaru Outback to raise funds for our Osceola County seniors.

Unfortunately, with the onslaught of the 2020 pandemic hitting Central Florida especially hard, the OCOA, along with our countywide Meals on Wheels program funding capabilities have been negatively affected. Our team has been required to become extra creative in fundraising efforts due to the council needing to cancel philanthropic fundraising projects this year. Luckily, we have found new and innovative ways to create donations to support our… READ MORE


November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

n annual campaign aimed to bring awareness of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as the ever-increasing cases of the disorder among the United States population. According to Unicity Healthcare, a group specializing in AD and dementia care, the annual campaign also focuses to educate on the many care options and support groups available across the nation, for individuals and families affected by the condition.

It is important to note, in November 1983, President Ronald Reagan created this national designation, though at the time fewer than 2 million Americans had AD; today, the number has soared to nearly 5.4 million. Coincidentally, within six years after President Regan finished his second term in offce, he too… READ MORE


Here’s what to know about the Barney E. Veal Center
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

With the recent scare of Hurricane Isaias, most Floridians are at least semi-prepared for Florida’s hurricane season. As we are now in the height of the 2020 hDid you know, for more than 30 years the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) operated out of an old, remodeled vehicle inspection station owned by the Osceola County government?

As the OCOA’s need to support the community increased from year to year, it became inevitable we would need to build a facility to better meet the social needs of Osceola County residents. After many years of planning and fundraising, which were necessary to achieve our goals, the Barney E. Veal Center opened in July 2007, at 700 Generation Point, in Kissimmee. The campus has now been the council’s headquarters and primary point of.READ MORE


September is National Preparedness Month
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

With the recent scare of Hurricane Isaias, most Floridians are at least semi-prepared for Florida’s hurricane season. As we are now in the height of the 2020 hurricane phase, concluding Nov. 30, it is the perfect time to make those final arrangements to prepare for any and all of Mother Nature’s threats.

Accordingly, September is National Preparedness Awareness Month, so the ideal time to prepare for any tropical storms nearing our region.

To summarize, National Preparedness Month (NPM) is part of a governmental effort to strengthen the United States’ preparedness capabilities. Recognized each September, the initiative promotes prevention, protection and recovery efforts for both family and… READ MORE


August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

With the ongoing media reporting and coverage of all things COVID-19, we are frequently hearing the latest progress reports from the pharmaceutical industry regarding their efforts to create a new vaccine in hopes of bringing an end to the COVID-19 virus.

With August recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month, it makes it an ideal time to speak to your healthcare provider about any vaccinations needed to help keep you and your family safe.

National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance held to call attention to the importance of immunizations for… READ MORE


July is recognized as Purposeful Parenting Awareness Month
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services declares each July as “Purposeful Parenting” Awareness Month.

The original focus for the purposeful parenting recognition was to emphasize the importance of open communication with our youth while supporting and rearing their need for independence.

Though, in recent years, the responsibilities and culture of purposeful parenting have evolved. As with many aspects of our evolving day-to-day culture, parenting roles have also taken on many different levels of caretaking and responsibility. As an example, we often see scenarios of… READ MORE


Council on Aging focused on restoring, stabilizing and strengthening families
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

As families across our country are working to manage the multiple changes in which the recent pandemic has brought to their lives, many are in the process of rebuilding what has been lost.

Some are mourning the loss of a job or loved one. Some are simply finding ways to survive. Whatever you are doing in building your family’s new normal, we hope the adjustment is becoming easier. As our fellow American families are focused on restoring life as they knew it, the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) is also focused on restoring, stabilizing, and strengthening families across Osceola County… READ MORE


Raising awareness for Older Americans Month in May
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

As the president and CEO of Osceola County’s largest social services organization, the Osceola Council on Aging, our team is continually focused on how to best serve Osceola’s senior population.

Though with the recent concerns related to COVID-19, specifically, the virus’s negative implications on our elder population, I felt it extremely important to highlight the council’s many healthcare related initiatives for this month’s guest column… READ MORE


April is National Volunteer Month
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

An entire month dedicated to honoring the millions of volunteers who support important needs and causes across this great country. Those amazing people, along with the many special volunteers our team is blessed to work with daily within the scope of the Osceola Council on Aging, and the local community of Osceola at large, we thank you immensely for your philanthropic time and service… READ MORE


March is National Nutrition Month 2020
Thursday, March 5, 2020

March is National Nutrition Month 2020, an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to raise awareness on the importance of nutritionally balanced diets for all ages and cultures; the importance of developing sound eating habits, while companioning physical activity to support overall strength and physical health.This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.’” READ MORE


February is Heart Month and Eating Disorders Awareness Month
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

February is well known as Heart Month, a national initiative sponsored by the American Heart Association encouraging Americans to join the battle against cardiac disease.

However, February is also known for another important health issue, Eating Disorders Awareness Month, focused on raising awareness of the 20 million women and 10 million men who experience some type of eating disorder… READ MORE


Happy New Year from the Council on Aging!
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year from the Osceola Council on Aging! As we turn our calendars to 2020, and prepare for the year ahead, we have exciting news for Osceola News Gazette readers. 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… READ MORE