By MIKE HUGHES, Prime Times
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The wintry weather has played havoc with the roadways throughout Belmont County the last few weeks.
Schools have been canceled, meetings postponed and driving has slowed to a crawl on a few snow-filled evenings.
But local and state road crews aren’t the only ones out braving the slippery conditions to perform a service.
Belmont Senior Services and its fleet of vehicles has been making its usual rounds throughout the county, uninhibited, for the most part, by the conditions.
And according to Tim Johnson, executive director for Senior Services, it’s a must.
Belmont Senior Services not only provides daily meal service to the county’s various senior centers in the communities, but also to at-home residents who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get out and get a hot meal.
They also offer transportation assistance for elderly residents in need of trips to the doctor, or to pick up medications or other appointments. These vital services continued despite the weather.
‘‘We have to follow the guidelines, so if there is a Level 3 road emergency in the county, we aren’t able to get out,’’ Johnson said.‘‘ But that one weekend, we made every delivery that we were scheduled to make and we look to continue that record.’’
Johnson did say that some of the clients opted on their own to either cancel or postpone medical appointments or other assorted trips. Those clients contacted Belmont Senior Services on their own.
But the organization does have a few vehicles with four-wheel drive and the handicap-accessible vehicles were cleaned off every morning and put out on the road for usage.
Senior Services also offers in-home care for county residents.
Those appointments, which are usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, were left up to the discretion of the clients and the aides who were traveling out to assist.
If the appointment was unable to be made, the aides were able to reschedule and make sure the residents were taken care of.
Johnson explained that some of the local senior centers in the communities closed down temporarily, or didn’t open on a particular day because of the weather.
Those decisions were left to the discretion of each center’s director. But for those residents who are unable to get to the senior centers, the vehicles and services from the county were still running.
In the event that the meal services or transportation isn’t able to make a particular run or to a resident’s location, Johnson said someone from Senior Services always calls to let the resident know.
With the possibility of more snow on the horizon, residents are able to call Senior Services at (740) 695-4142 to check on the status of the appointment or deliveries.
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com