Interview with Joseph Fox
Hello Joseph! What is your role and what does the Newaygo County Commission on Aging do?
My role is the Commission on Aging (COA) Director. I work with an advisory board and staff to help seniors in Newaygo County get caring services that enhance the quality of life and support the independence of adults who are 60+.
Our services (prior to the Stay at Home Order) include transportation, homemaking services, home repair, meals, case management, wellness programs and more. We offer a large variety of programs to help seniors stay well and independent.
What are you doing now that the Stay at Home Order is in place?
We had to close our 3 community meal sites in Fremont, Newaygo and White Cloud and postpone travel trips and classes. Anything where people congregate is not happening.
One of our concerns right now is helping seniors deal with isolation. Our case managers and meal delivery staff are doing an incredible job staying in touch with people. We are experts in helping people in this type of situation.
Have you seen an increase in need?
Yes, our Meals on Wheels program has seen more than a 12% increase. This is a critical service in that not only does the driver deliver a healthy meal, he or she spends time checking in on the senior. If something seems out of place, the driver gets in touch with one of our case managers. This program helps keep people living safely at home and combats social isolation.
If someone knows a senior in Newaygo County that could use some assistance, who should they call?
Call COA at 231-689-2100. There will be an automated message that guides you through the options. For a list of our services, visit our website: https://www.countyofnewaygo.com/CommissionOnAging.aspx.
Via our website, you can also get connected to our Facebook page and newsletter.
Joseph Fox is a former teacher and education administrator. He looks forward to spending time with his grandchildren when the Stay at Home Order is lifted.