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88 Counties: Guernsey County caring for senior population during pandemic

The Area Agency on Aging Region 9 has recently distributed 6,000 wellness kits to area seniors in need.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to play out, quarantining and social distancing measures have taken a toll on seniors. The Area Agency on Aging Region 9 is helping senior residents in the larger Guernsey County community continue to live independently.

"They want to stay independent, living in their own homes, and we help that become a reality," Area Agency on Aging Region 9 CEO Jim Endly said.

Endly's team has recently distributed 6,000 wellness kits to seniors in the nine counties they serve.

"I just couldn't live here without you, and today they mowed the yard," one senior told Endly. "I get all emotional, but I'm going to be 80 in four months, and I'm very lucky."

That senior citizen, an artist who has painted hundreds of murals over 60 years, says unlike everyone else, she's enjoyed quarantine.

"I love it. You know, when you start a painting, the last thing you want is an interruption," she said.

The Area Agency on Aging is looking to help local businesses too. Using money it received from the CARES Act, the group is buying meals from local businesses to provide to seniors in need.

With the pandemic slowing business down for Theo's, a restaurant in downtown Cambridge, it is happy to be the first small business cooking food for seniors.

"It benefits the community because a lot of the seniors can't get out and eat. And it benefits us because, you know, this has hurt our business," Theo's owner Steve Theodosopoulos said.