Grant County Commission On Aging, which is a nonprofit corporation
have been established for 28 years serving the elderly of Grant
County. The purpose of the Grant County Commission on Aging,
now the Commission On Aging Family Services, is to assist elderly
persons and their families regardless of race, religion, creed
or color, in finding and making use of their resources. To establish
and maintain programs and services which are appropriate and
realistic to the elderly and to establish the value of human
life, dignity of self worth, an atmosphere or respect, trust
and support. To make the elderly an integral part of the community
allowing them to live with dignity and a purposeful life throughout
their golden years and help avoid institutionalization.
opened our doors on June 3, 1973, in the basement hallway of the Grove
Street United Methodist Church for which they donated office space
for the first year and a half. We had a borrowed desk and chair from
Gerald Chadock of the South Branch Vocational School and a grant from
the State of West Virginia for $4,400, $3,300 from State and Federal
and $1,100 match from local in-kind and county dollars.
LeFevre, a member of the South Branch group, expressed an interest
in establishing a senior center in Grant County. Marcel was formerly
of Clarksburg, West Virginia which had one of the first senior centers
in the state. He felt Grant County needed a senior center and with
help from Larkin Ours, the Grant County Commission on Aging was started.
director, Joyce Ours Thompson, started working on June 3, 1973, 10
hours per week at $2.00 per hour. She began full-time employment in
1974. The Grant County Commission on Aging had mostly social functions
then and only two senior citizen groups in the county, the Mt. Storm
Senior Citizens Group in the northern part of the county and the South
Branch Senior Citizens which met in the Petersburg area at the Grove
Street Methodist Church twice a month.
Grant County Commission on Aging has 2,179 senior citizens in the county
who may access services from the aging program. They are sent a quarterly
newsletter. Our first service was free transportation to the elderly
of Grant County to doctors offices, grocery shopping, and agencies.
Our transportation program was the only one in the five county areas,
even before the public Potomac Valley Transit Authority. The three
local car dealers, Ford, Buick, and Chevrolet, were very generous in
donating cars for the above transportation program on a three-month
rotation basis the first year of the Commission on Aging conception,
until we were able to obtain a vehicle from State surplus.
Grant County Commission purchased the old Vo-Ag Building on Grove Street
in August 1974, for the purpose of providing Grant County elderly with
a county senior center. We were pleased to have the first Senior Center
in Region 8.
Grant County Board of Education was very generous in donating the building
for $1.00 for the new senior center on Grove Street, as well as, providing
us with used furniture and other items.
August 20, 1974, was the scene of 65 persons participating in our first flu-clinic.
Dr. King came out of retirement to administer the shots. Judy’s Drug
Store, with the cooperation of Dr. Judy, helped supply the flu vaccine at cost.
We were fortunate to have this system for two years. Then we coordinated with
the local Health Department and volunteer staff from the community.
1974, the City of Petersburg approved a request for free parking for
senior citizens over 60 years of age. We provided the cards which were
placed on the windshield of the vehicle.
local radio station and the local newspaper have and still continue
to cooperate with us in supplying mass-media coverage.
banks were generous in helping offset the cost with the aging program.
The Grant County Commission has been extremely wonderful to the elderly
of Grant County. They donated land for the multipurpose Senior Center.
The new center is a two-story, 75' by 40' building, accessible to the
handicapped on both levels. Funding for the project consisted of more
than $125,000 in monies, land and services from the local County Commission,
$53,000 from the Governor’s Office, and $23,000 from the State
Commission on Aging.
have many that use their talents to help participate in our programs.
Our senior citizens make crafts for bazaars. They spend hours on the
telephone to lonely seniors providing them with telephone reassurance.
We had a loyal bookkeeper, Curtis Hiser, who volunteered his time and
knowledge to keep our books in the best of shape for approximately
20 years. Retired nurses and hospital staff have donated their services
each month to help make our monthly blood pressure clinics a success.
community has been very instrumental as volunteering on our board of
directors. We wish to thank them for their countless hours.
Grant County Commission on Aging moved from the concept of just social
programs to nutrition programs in approximately 1982 and to in-home
service programs in approximately 1988. This allows us to help the
elderly of Grant County to remain independent and live in the home
atmosphere as long as possible. These services include personal care,
food preparation, and light housekeeping to at-risk, frail persons.
These services delay or eliminate the need for institutionalization.
have grown from a part-time director/secretary to a staff of 10 full-time
employees and 26 part-time employees.
serve approximately 142 Grant County elderly at the four nutrition
sites which are: Petersburg Senior Center, Maysville Fire Hall, Dorcas
Baptist Church, and the Mt. Storm Village.
have a total of 47 clients which are provided in-home services on a
The Grant County Nursing Home came from the lack of nursing homes in our area
and a concerned group of county senior citizens along with the Grant County
Commission on Aging Board and the Director, Joyce Ours Thompson, realized the
urgent need to have a nursing home in our county to provide care for elderly
citizens who could not remain in their own homes. A steering committee was
appointed at the county level in 1977.
Physician’s Recruitment Committee was established by our board
in 1976 to help bring more doctors to the area.
1976, the Grant County Commission on Aging board realized the need
for low income senior housing and with the help of the Grant County
Commission donated land for the project, we reactivated the Grant County
Housing Authority. We worked approximately four years to bring the
32 units of housing for low income as well as senior housing to Woodland
board was so dedicated to the needs of the elderly and seeing these
needs for a gap service between nursing home care and being fully independent
that they formed a separate board to initiate an assisted-living project.
The Joy Retreat Board was established on February 1, 1995. Land was
purchased adjacent to the senior center for approximately 20 units
of housing/assisted- living for the elderly. The board has been working
on grants to obtain what they have envisioned.