Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. (MEOC)
- Project Title: Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc.
- Program Representative Interviewed: Michael Wampler, Executive Director
- Location: Big Stone Gap, VA
Program Overview: Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc.
(MEOC) has been operating since 1974 and was originally developed in order to deliver Older
Americans Act programs and services to residents of Lee, Wise, and Scott counties in southwestern
Virginia. MEOC started with a total budget of $12,500; today the total budget is over $14 million. MEOC
provides services to older adults, children, and the general public. It is designated as the Area Agency on
Aging and public transit provider for the southwestern tip of Virginia in the mountains of central
Appalachia. They provide Program
of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) services which include transportation, primary medical
and specialty care, prescription drug coverage, adult day health services, home care services, and more.
MEOC's long list of programs also includes intergenerational programming, homemaker services, legal assistance and public guardianship services, senior employment, meal programs, foster grandparenting volunteer opportunities, caregiver support, care coordination, and abuse prevention for older adults and children. Additionally, MEOC operates an emergency fuel fund to help low-income older adults afford their utility bills during the winter months. This fund is entirely supported by community donations and helps older adults to remain safely in their homes. MEOC believes in the importance of providing multiple, holistic services and developing community partnerships in order to support and engage older adults aging in place in the community.