Isabella County Commission on Aging celebrates 50 years

Supporting the needs of a community requires a collaborative, multifaceted effort. The Isabella County Commission on Aging plays a key role in this support system, providing assistance for senior citizens and assuring a better quality of life. The Isabella County Commission on Aging recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of doing so.

“Fifty years of service is an amazing feat!” shares Jen Crawford, director of the Isabella County Commission on Aging (COA), in reflection of their anniversary.

“We are so proud of the work that has been done over the past fifty years and look forward to continuing to serve older adults throughout our county in the years to come.” 

COA director, Jen Crawford, poses for a photo at the 50th celebration event. (Photo courtesy of COA)Half a century of public service does not come without a concerted, cooperative effort, as Crawford acknowledges, stating, “I am so proud of our team. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside each of them. We have the most professional, caring, and passionate team here at the COA!”

Providing a diverse array of resources and services for the community of older adults, the mission of the COA is to promote the health, independence, and fulfillment of the aging population through the provision of these services. 

“The COA staff and our many volunteers help older adults throughout Isabella County daily,” Crawford says. “Not only does our facility provide meaningful opportunities for people to congregate and take part in fun interactive activities, but we are also a hub for meals, education, social support, and volunteerism.” 

COA is located at 2200 S Lincoln Rd in Union Charter Township. (Photo: Courtney Jerome/Epicenter)Each program facilitated by the Isabella County Commission on Aging is unique and provides a specific service to the aging community. They offer in-home services, activities, and programs such as Food with Friends, Gold Key Volunteers, and Foster Grandparents. These programs are facilitated by COA employees and over 300 volunteers

Not to be complacent after fifty years of service, the COA has plans for expanded service and opportunities in the near future. This is especially pertinent in the presence of an expanding aging population. 

“As the aging population continues to grow, so will our programs and services,” says Crawford. “One of the exciting projects that we are currently working on is our new pavilion and outdoor recreation area, which will hopefully break ground later this summer. We will have a large pavilion along with a pickleball court and a shuffleboard court onsite here at the COA.” 

Spanning the distance from recreational opportunities to personal care, the COA is committed to assisting in the lives of the aging population. 

“The Commission on Aging is a great resource for the aging population throughout Isabella County,” Crawford concludes. “We encourage individuals to contact us with questions or to check in about issues they may be experiencing.”
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Read more articles by Owen Howard.

Owen Howard is an Isabella County native with a deep appreciation for all it has to offer, in both people and places. He is a current graduate student at Central Michigan University, with a bachelor's degree in biology. He was a collegiate cross country athlete for CMU and currently assists the team as a volunteer coach. In his free time, Owen could be described as 'chronically outdoors.' Owen has a passion for telling stories and for listening to other people tell theirs. He loves getting the chance to allow people to share their passions and stories with a larger audience.