Recently, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club welcomed Nassau County Council on Aging Executive Director Janice Ancrum as a guest speaker. Ancrum, a native of Fernandina Beach, served for 16 years as chief of operations for Community Connections of Jacksonville before coming to the Council on Aging (COA) in 2012. She said the mission of the COA, which in February will celebrate 40 years of serving Nassau County, is to help senior citizens stay in their homes rather than move to a nursing home or assisted living facility. Toward that goal, COA staff spent some 80,000 hours providing assistance and support to seniors in their homes. In addition, COA offers two area senior centers that give the elderly a chance to enjoy the company of others, participate in interactive activities such as crafting and other enrichment programs. Ancrum said additional senior outreach is offered through the Meals on Wheels program that not only delivers more than 180 hot meals a week, but gives lonely seniors contact with caring staff who also do a wellness check during each visit. She said COA continues its commitment to offering public transportation to the disabled and disadvantaged as well as for Medicaid patients and noted that in 2013 COA’s 23 buses took 70,000 trips to help those in need. Ancrum said COA has implemented new programs geared toward those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia and credits community partnerships with Baptist Medical Center Nassau and many caring volunteers for helping the COA to better serve Nassau County’s senior population.