OCO Senior Services Launches Nutrition Help Line

Written by: John DeRousie / Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – For participants in Oswego County Opportunities’ Senior Nutrition Services Dining and Activity Centers and the Home Delivered Meals Program, answers to their concerns regarding diet and nutritional health are only a phone call away.

OCO volunteers Sally Anderson (left) and Pat Thayer (right) assist Patti Williams, a registered dietitian with OCO, serve up a nutritious lunch at OCO’s Senior Dining and Activity Center in the Phoenix Congregational Church.
OCO volunteers Sally Anderson (left) and Pat Thayer (right) assist Patti Williams, a registered dietitian with OCO, serve up a nutritious lunch at OCO’s Senior Dining and Activity Center in the Phoenix Congregational Church.

Working in collaboration with registered dietitian Patti Williams, CDN, OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services Program has established a Nutrition Help Line to provide participating seniors, as well as their family members and caregivers, the opportunity to access diet and nutritional information.

According to Amy Roland, director of OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services, the line is a welcome addition to the program and an excellent resource for its consumers.

“We have provided nutritional education at our Senior Dining and Activity Centers for years. Registered dietitians Patti Williams and Mary Cay Donovan visit our centers several times throughout the year offering nutritional advice and presenting demonstrations on topics such as food safety, heart healthy eating and cooking healthy as well as current concerns such as the importance of vitamin D and living with diabetes. They also provide one-on-one nutritional counseling,” she said.

While the access to a registered dietitian was well received by the seniors, Roland felt that the program could do more to serve its participants.

“This is a very valuable service and we wanted to find a way in which nutritional information could be available more often so that our seniors could access it when needed. That’s when we decided to establish our Nutrition Help Line so that they could get the answers to their questions and concerns as soon as possible,” she said.

OCO’s Senior Services help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On the first Wednesday of each month from 9 – 11 a.m. and the second Tuesday of each month from 1– 3 p.m., Williams is available to receive and answer phone calls as they come in and offer personalized assistance with special diet or nutritional concerns.

On the other days, an answering machine will record callers’ questions and concerns and Williams will return those calls in a timely manner.

She is also available via e-mail at [email protected]

Williams, who has been with OCO since 1987, is excited about the help line and the opportunity to further assist those utilizing OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services.

“This service is a wonderful addition to the program. As it is available at no charge, it allows participants, as well as their family members and caregivers, to receive valuable nutritional information that they would not otherwise have access to. Our goal is to provide reliable answers to their questions so that our seniors are able to maintain good nutrition that will benefit their health. I really enjoy doing this and it’s rewarding to know that I am really making a difference by helping people improve their health through proper nutrition,” said Williams.

Roland added that the addition of the help line is another example of how OCO’s Senior Services provides more than a meal.

“Our Senior Dining and Activity Centers do much more than provide a place where seniors can go and receive a nutritious meal at no cost. They provide a variety of other benefits such as recreation, health and wellness activities, exercise, and arts and crafts programs, as well as pertinent information on topics that are important to them,” she said.

The line is available at 315-592-0766 or toll free at 1-800-359-1171, ext. 1806.

OCO’s Senior Services Senior Dining and Activity Centers are located at:

St. Bernadette’s Church, 1677 State Route 49, Constantia
Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St., Fulton
United Methodist Church, Harwood Drive, Sandy Creek
Pontiac Terrace Apartments, West First and Oneida streets, Oswego
Presbyterian Church, 814 Rider St., Parish
Phoenix Congregational Church, 288 Bridge St., Phoenix
Hannibal Public Library, 162 Oswego St., Hannibal
Mexico Presbyterian Church, 4310 Church St., Mexico

OCO offers more than 50 human service programs that serve more than 28,000 people each year.

Operating in more than 80 locations throughout Oswego County, OCO’s workforce has more than 650 employees and 1,000 highly valued volunteers.

A private, non-profit agency that is celebrating its 45th anniversary, OCO is on a roll to continue helping people, supporting communities, changing lives and improving the quality of life for Oswego County residents.

OCO is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency.

For more information, visit www.oco.org