NEWBERRY — To help gain first hand experience and to assist in his new position as lieutenant governor, John Yancey McGill met with the Newberry County Council on Aging on Monday to meet with the center’s members and assess their needs.
“When I was sworn in as lieutenant governor a few weeks ago, my first priority was to see the conditions of senior centers and the programs they provide for their seniors,” said McGill.
He began visiting senior centers shortly after he was sworn in to his new office, and to date, has visited 29 centers in 29 counties. He plans to visit the remaining 17 in the weeks to come. After McGill and his team visit every county, he plans on returning to Columbia and work to increase funding to the centers.
“When I return to the state house, I am going to find money in the budget to help improve these facilities. You currently have a small television that you cannot see the captions at the bottom. There is no reason why this facility cannot have a 62-inch flat screen television,” said McGill.
The lieutenant governor also stressed to the senior citizens that the biggest impact on their health and happiness was loneliness.
“During my time on the Senate’s Senior Citizen’s Committee, I found out that loneliness was a major impact on all our senior citizens,” said McGill. “So I want all our seniors to know that we love them, we are proud of them and help them know we care for them.”
However, McGill also said their generation is the one that set trends for generations following them, and they can still set the trend today.
“You all are the greatest generation. All of you set the trends for the rest of us, and you can still do that today. Go and call your kids and grand kids, let them know you are thinking of them and inspire them to call you,” said McGill.
The NCCA members were thrilled with visit and were more than happy to host.
“Our seniors are very excited about his (McGill) visit. They will get the pictures they took with him and post them on the walls. This really will be the highlight of their day,” said Lynn Stockman, executive director of Newberry County Council on Aging.
Before McGill left, he mentioned how well of an institution the NCCA was, and out of all the centers he has visited, this was by far the best.
“Without question, Newberry County Council on Aging is the nicest and well organized senior center in the state,” McGill said.