OSCEOLA COUNTY — The new executive director of the Osceola Commission on Aging was the guest speaker at the AARP meeting held last Wednesday, Jan. 11, in Reed City.

Scott Schryer gave the group an overview of his background as well as his focus for the future of the OCA in this area.

After completing his masters degree in a health field, he started his career at the Currie House in Cadillac, where he ultimately was instrumental in developing their dementia program. He studied dementia in both New York and California to increase his skills and have the ability to work with not only patients, but also assist families and staff.

Schryer said he later worked at Lakeview Manor in Cadillac, where he agreed to re-do their marketing program. He was employed there when a $4.3 million renovation project took place for inpatient rehab, and said it was amazing what that project now offers those who need assistance.

He noted that while employed at those locations, “there was a clause in my contract that if a job like this would become an opportunity for me (a COA directorship), I get to break and go.”

He said he was originally told there were only a few programs locally through COA, but he has quickly discovered “you have almost as many programs as Wexford, and more than Missaukee.” Schryer lives at McBain.

He described many of the programs offered locally, including Meals on Wheels, transportation of residents to various doctors, hospitals, or elsewhere for treatment or checkups, and said the congregate sites where seniors can come to visit, have lunch, and enjoy various programs, “are wonderful in this county.”

Schryer noted that it is vital for seniors to get out of the house and go places whenever possible. He noted that depression is a villain during the winter months, and that getting out can be a life saver.

He also focused on a variety of programs that promote dexterity, help with memory, and balance. A newsletter was sent to seniors and provided to the AARP attendees, sharing some of the programs available, and a glimpse of what future programs may be added as the need warrants.