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Spotlight on Wetzel County Committee on Aging

By Hannah Morris - Staff Writer | Oct 6, 2021

The Wetzel County Committee on Aging, located at 145 Paducah Drive, is a hidden gem in Wetzel County that provides relief for those who care for their loved ones. Since 1974, the WCCOA has provided numerous services, including transportation, Medicaid personal care, homemaker services, in-home respite, Veteran’s services and more. The WCCOA has had 3 executive directors through the years; Elwood Riggenbach was their first director, followed by JoAnn Albright. The current executive director, Mary Ash, has served 24 years in her position, and has been doing everything she can to provide fun activities for their clients while ensuring everyone stays safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the hardships of the pandemic, the WCCOA has continued to meet all transportation needs and in-home service care. All staff members are required to wear masks and gloves to ensure the safety of clients and themselves. All extracurricular activities that they host are evaluated and precautions are taken seriously. Recently, they were able to take a trip to Sight & Sound Theatres in Pennsylvania after being postponed for two years.

Ash is hopeful in the future that the other centers, located in Pine Grove, Hundred and Paden City, will be able to return to normal to keep the centers open while taking necessary precautions. These centers host Bingo, serve covered dishes, offer painting classes and more.

New programs have also been recently introduced in addition to their on-going programs and services.

Through the state, the Summer Mail Program has provided 35 to 40 families in the county with weekly and monthly food boxes, in addition to monthly visits from the Mountaineer Food Bank.

They also hand out Farmer’s Market vouchers for seniors to purchase produce. Monthly hearing tests from Beltone and monthly fingerprinting are provided as well. As a special treat, last year during Thanksgiving after receiving $5,000 from Wendy’s, the WCCOA purchased Thanksgiving dinners for their clients.

The WCCOA is currently hiring an in-home personal care attendant. To learn more about the activities and services the WCCOA provides, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wetzelccoa.