BONIFAY - Joyce Hanagriff is 89 years old and lives at home. But, when she gets the opportunity to get out, she indulges in having a good time.
She was one of several seniors in attendance at Friday's Senior Expo held at Holmes County Ag Center and hosted by Holmes County Council on Aging (HCCOA).
"I really enjoy it: the gospel singing, the dancing and most important all the little (door prizes) they give you to help the senior citizens," Hanagriff said, projecting her voice over the music. "Just joining together for a good time."
HCCOA Coordinator Michael Brown said the event coalesces a number of agencies from across the county that can provide a line of support to meet seniors needs. For example, onsite Friday was a representative from Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc., which provides phones with special accommodations for individuals who are mute and/or hard of hearing. On the other side of the room, Hearing Life out of Marianna, conducted free hearing tests and offered information on special hearing devices.
Event organizers estimated about 150 seniors attended the event.
And Hanagriff's best friend Betty Cooper, 63, was one of them.
"It's a lot of fun," she said, noting it was her second year attending. "I just like the singing and entertainment."
While getting out is great, Brown said the program's success hinges on keeping the seniors in their homes.
"They're at their homes and we want to keep it like that," Brown said. "They'll be happier, healthier, spiritually and emotionally. It's better for them. And, in the end, it costs the state much less too."
HCCOA offers a Meals-on-wheels program, house keeping and personal care to its clients.
He said the estimated costs for a resident at a senior facility is around $64,000 a year. His programs, he added, run at about $8,000 a year and provides the same services.
"We could not do this without community support," Brown said. "In Bonifay, we all just come together and it's really wonderful."
The Holmes County Council on Aging is located at 210 W Kansas Ave. in Bonifay. For more information call 850-547-9393.