The Delphos Senior Center got a face lift in 2019. (DHI Media file photo)
The Delphos Senior Center got a face lift in 2019. (DHI Media file photo)
DELPHOS — The Delphos Senior Citizen Center had another very busy year in 2019.

Center Director Alice Curth and her staff and volunteers work diligently to provide for its members.

“When everyone thinks of Delphos Senior Citizens, I hope they remember the services we provide to help seniors live more independently. Maintaining a healthy quality of life is of utmost importance and enhancing that life with opportunities for socialization is the next priority,” Curth said. “I think the services, programs and activities that we offer fill a gap in transportation in this community and we also provide some uplifting social opportunities to enrich a senior’s daily life.”

Transportation is the primary service of the center.

“In 2019, we transported 223 different clients for 6,680 trips. Our five vehicles traveled over 58,500 miles during the year,” Center Director Alice Curth said. “Our main priority is medical, but we also transport to grocery stores, banks and whatever else we can fit in our schedule.”

The center transports around the Delphos area, as well as Lima, Van Wert, Spencerville and Fort Jennings.

Levies shared with Allen and Van Wert counties, as well as some funding from United Way, allow the center to transport those over 60 years of age, but it also has other contracts to help those under age 60 if they qualify through Allen County Job and Family Services or the Find-A-Ride program. Through the Find-A-Ride program, the center is able to make trips to Dayton, Toledo and Columbus for seniors to see a specialist in those areas.

“It is vital to get seniors to their medical appointments. There are a few individuals who are transported to life-saving chemotherapy or dialysis treatments on a regular basis throughout the year,” Curth added.

Van driver Ann Schaffner retired and the center hired two new part-time van drivers – Jean Weber and Cathy Kelly. Sub van drivers include Jim Knebel and Frank Dorsten. There area total of eight drivers.

“We have a new vehicle on the way as well, but ODOT takes their time. Currently, we have five transport vehicles that are all wheelchair accessible and one chore vehicle,” Curth said.

The center’s Chore Program served 45 different clients with 616 hours of service in 2019. To request chore service, the recipient needs to be over 60 years of age and live in the Delphos area. Those workers also take care of all the cleaning and maintenance at the center.

Outreach programs helped 182 different clients through 524 contacts. Most of those contacts last at least one hour. Curth said Outreach can also save clients money.

“During the Medicare Open Enrollment period, we saved seniors $37,206 by choosing a more appropriate drug plan or advantage plan,” she said.

The Matter of Balance program was held twice last year, serving 25 different clients. Another program is the Good to Know, Lunch & Go, which offers a free lunch and valuable information.

“With these monthly programs, we served 52 different clients numerous times throughout the year. In 2019, we were also able to offer the BrainFit series twice in collaboration with the Meadows of Delphos, serving 45 clients. The income tax assistance program assisted 58 individuals,” Curth said, adding up the numbers.

The center started a relationship with a new caterer for the meal site – the local VFW Post 3035. Meals are $5 and members need to let the center know if they are coming for lunch the day before by 1 pm. The center served 1,645 meals to 115 different seniors throughout 2019.

The center also offers various health assessments each month, like blood pressure checks, glucose checks and foot care.

“We also continue to loan medical equipment for as long as it is needed,” Curth added.

For socialization, the center had 4,150 contacts with members — almost a third of which were for bingo. The remaining contacts included daily exercise, cards, puzzle, board games, paint ‘n’ take, crafts, dances, parties and trivia contests.

“We were also pleased to offer our annual Senior Citizen Day and Christmas parties. Our Red, White and Blue Celebration is becoming an annual favorite event for the summer, as is a Halloween party for the fall,” Curth said. “Everyone seems to enjoy them.”

An internship for several graduate students from the University of Findlay led to the creation of the center’s Friday Fundays. These activities are every Friday following lunch. Seniors enjoy a simple craft or game.

“Throughout the year, we’ve had 362 contacts for our Friday Fundays/Findlay student activities. We also appreciate the involvement of our local school group, Delphos Jefferson National Honor Society,” Curth said. “For the past two years, members of this group have volunteered to rake leaves for seniors, come to the center to play games, and make party favors for each senior attending the Christmas Party.”

The community’s support of the center sales helped complete an update to the front of the building with money saved from years of candy and garage sales.

“I don’t think anything has been done to the front of the building since Delphos Senior Citizens began in 1975,” Curth said. “I started talking to the board about the front as soon as I was hired in 2014. It was old aluminum siding and it had mold on it and it wouldn’t clean up nice. The windows upstairs were leaking, too. I kept bringing it up until they said yes. It finally looks cohesive. We’re excited to finally have our own identity instead of being known as Bob’s Grocery and the Grubenhoff homestead.”

The Dienstberger Foundation continues to offer their support each year. Last year, the center also received a generous grant from the Mueller Scherger Foundation for a digital sign to be constructed in front of the building. With a donation from the Delphos Running Club, the center purchased some new videos for its exercise group as well as several games for Friday Fundays.

“We are working on some other plans for our dedicated exercise group as well,” Curth added.

There is no membership fee and most services are provided at no charge at the center though they do accept donations and have a Memorial Fund to remember loved ones.

For more information or to be put on the newsletter list, call 419-692-1331.