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Statement of Qualifications

The Upper Savannah Council of Governments is the Area Agency on Aging for the six-county region. The overall goal of the Area Agency on Aging is to develop and promote an aging network system that will enable older people to lead independent lives in their homes, with dignity, for as long as possible. The Area Agency on Aging is designated by the State Unit on Aging, which for South Carolina is known as the OFFICE OF SENIOR AND LONG TERM CARE SERVICES, BUREAU OF SENIOR SERVICES, to provide planning and administrative oversight for a multi-county planning and service area.

The Area Agency on Aging’s responsibility, as determined under Title III of the Older Americans Act, are to plan and contract for services to meet the needs of citizens age 60 or older; to allocate federal and state funding to provide services that meet those needs;

to coordinate present aging services with other funded programs; to assist local organizations in developing programs which would benefit senior adults; to undertake annual planning activities to obtain updated information; and to serve as an advocate on behalf of the elderly. The agency’s annual Area Plan on Aging is a formal document which identifies these needs and provides justification for receiving funds from the Older Americans Act.

The Area Agency on Aging subcontracts with local providers for delivery of the following services:

  • Transportation
  • Homemaker services
  • Adult Day Care
  • In-home and group respite care
  • Congregate/home delivered meals
  • Insurance counseling
  • Wellness and prevention
  • Information and assistance
  • Outreach
  • Physical fitness
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition education and screening

These services may vary from county to county and from year to year depending upon the needs identified and the availability of resources. Other areas in which the Area Agency on Aging may be able to provide assistance is with regard to legal assistance, volunteer opportunities, minor home repair, living will and health care power of attorney execution.

For information about other human service agencies located in the six counties of the Upper Savannah region, refer to the UPPER SAVANNAH HUMAN SERVICES DIRECTORY (500 Kb) for assistance.

The Area Agency on Aging serves as the Regional Coordinator for the Insurance Counseling and Referral for Elderly (I-CARE) program. This program provides insurance counseling and assistance to older adults who have questions about health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or a Medicare Supplemental policy through a corps of trained volunteers from each county. For assistance contact the I-CARE COORDINATOR for your county to schedule an appointment with an insurance counselor.

As already mentioned, the Area Agency on Aging subcontracts with local service providers in each of the counties. These agencies serve as the FOCAL POINT AGENCY and Senior Center for aging services in their county. Senior center activities include a broad range of group activities, designed to address the social, recreational, physical fitness and educational needs of a diverse older population. These activities are above and beyond the services specifically contracted by the area agency.

The Area Agency on Aging also operates the Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. This program provides a system for protecting the dignity and rights of vulnerable adults who are residing in long term care facilities—nursing homes, assisted living facilities and residential care facilities. Certified Ombudsman staff serve as resident advocates as well as investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents. Complaints include allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as issues of quality of care and resident rights. While Ombudsmen cannot directly find placement for seniors in a long term care facility, we can serve as a resource for families in need of long term care placement. Please click here for a listing of LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES IN THE UPPER SAVANNAH REGION. To contact the Regional LTC Ombudsman please call (864) 941-8050 or toll free at 1-800-922-7729. Interested persons who are seeking nursing home placement are encouraged to review the State’s latest certification survey of a particular nursing home. Survey reports can be found at the NATIONAL CITIZENS COALITION FOR NURSING HOME REFORM.

In order to promote health, fitness and well-being of persons 50 and older, the Area Agency on Aging serves as the lead coordinator for the Upper Savannah Senior Sports Classic. Community volunteers assist with the planning, fund-raising, marketing and implementation of the Senior Sports Classic. The Senior Sports Classic is three days of olympic-sytle events endorsed and sanctioned by the South Carolina Senior Sports Classic. Athletes pay a small registration fee (additional fees required for golf, tennis and bowling) and receive T-shirts, goody bag items, and lunch during the days of their events. Awards are presented to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place male and female finalists in each age division for each event. Age groups are 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84 and over 85 (men and women). A Senior Expo is held in conjunction with the Classic. The Expo consists of health screenings, entertainment, informational displays, door prizes and discounts. For more information or to be placed on the mailing list to receive a Registration Form, please call (864) 941-8050 or 1-800-922-7729.


Statement of Qualifications e-mail Phone
Vanessa Wideman Aging Program Director 864-941-8053
Ericca Livingston Aging Program Coodinator 864-941-8070
Barbara Wright Family Caregiver Advocate 864-941-8067
Kathy Dickerson Information and Referral Specialist 864-941-8061