Senior Center News

BLR DSMP Workshop Series Began April 3

A new Diabetes Self-Management workshop series began on April 3 in the Buena Vista-Lexington-Rockbridge Region, led by Jonni Lyle, Maury River Senior Center Director, and Jeri Schaff, BLR RD.

Held at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital, the group had six participants for the first session; two of those individuals brought a friend to the second session, so there are now eight in the group. One individual has vision limitations that prevent him from being able to read; CDSME Coordinator Joyce Nussbaum obtained a copy of the reference book used in the workshop on CD to loan to this individual.

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Medicare Premiums Won’t Go Up, Social Security Will – A Little

Retirees who are receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits will have a little more in their checks, starting in January. The Social Security Administration announced adjustments for 2014 on Oct. 30.

Social Security retirement benefits will increase by 1.5 percent, one of the lowest increases since Cost of Living Adjustments began in the 1970s. This “raise” means that an individual who received $1,000 monthly from Social Security will receive $1,015 beginning in January.

On a happier note, SSA also announced that the premium for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor and outpatient services, will remain the same for 2014. Most people, except for those with very high annual income, currently pay $104.90 a month for this coverage. Holding the line on Part B premiums means that the complete Cost of Living Adjustment in retirement benefits will be included in monthly payments.

Meals on Wheels Volunteers: A Lifeline for Seniors

This year, the volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors have been nominated for a People’s Choice award. Whether or not they receive the largest number of votes, this dedicated group is a true winner.

Volunteers are the “driving force” behind the Meals on Wheels mission that no senior goes hungry. They help provide more than JUST a meal.

Each day, they check on clients as they deliver their meals. For some clients, the Meals on Wheels volunteer is the only person they see during that day. Volunteers are their connection to a community where they were once active.

At Maury River Senior Center, volunteers deliver about 20,000 meals a year to residents of Buena Vista and Glasgow. In Lexington, our sister organization, Meals for Shut-Ins, uses volunteers to deliver about 9,000 meals annually. Both organizations are in critical need of additional volunteer drivers.

Volunteers pick up the meals they will deliver at about 11:15am, Monday through Friday. Buena Vista and Glasgow volunteer drivers come to Maury River Senior Center. Lexington drivers pick up their meals for delivery at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital, where all meals are prepared.

Volunteering is flexible; whether you can spare about an hour two days a month or two days a week, your help is deeply appreciated.

With your vehicle and your willingness to help, you are qualified to be a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver. Drivers deliver meals to clients in a specified area; training on food safety and interaction with clients takes about 15 minutes.

This activity is ideal for most kinds of people. Families who are home schooling children can provide an excellent example of community service and bring a smile to an elder as well. Companies can use volunteering as a team-building activity and give back to the community.

Retirees, students, and work-at-home individuals all are excellent Meals on Wheels drivers.

For more information about volunteering as a Meals on Wheels driver, please contact MRSC Director Jonni Lyle. She can be reached at 261-7474, or

Maury River Senior Center Names New Director

JLyleJSchaff10Maury River Senior Center has a new Center Director, effective October 1.

Since the Center opened, Jeri Schaff has been both the Center Director and the Director of Senior Services for the Valley Program for Aging Services Buena Vista/Lexington/Rockbridge Region. Schaff has elected to keep only one of those hats, and will remain as Director of Senior Services.

Schaff will be concentrating her efforts on some major initiatives, including Medicare insurance counseling, in-home care, and secure web-based inter-agency referral systems.

Jonni Lyle is now the MRSC Center Director. Lyle joined the Center’s staff more than four years ago, and has been performing many of the Director’s duties in her role as Administrative Specialist.

“We are thrilled that Jonni has accepted this opportunity to lead MRSC,” Schaff says. “She has proven her commitment and abilities over and over, and we are lucky to have her with us.”

Lyle explained that all current MRSC staff will remain, and there will be little change in the Center’s activities. “I really enjoy working with all the people who visit the Center,” Lyle notes. “I’m looking forward to meeting the challenge of keeping MRSC active and accessible to all those in our community who are 60 or older.”

Questions about Senior Center activities should be directed to Lyle; for information about other Valley Program for Aging Services programs, individuals should contact Schaff. They can both be reached at MRSC’s number: 261-7474.

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