Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Senior Services Levy--A Great Investment

Last week, just as I did last year, I paid a visit to one of the thousands of seniors served through our Senior Services levy. This is the levy approved, I believe, by a greater percentage of votes than any other--and for good reason.

It allows our senior citizens to get the basic in-home care and assistance they need to stay safe and independent in their homes, with their loved ones, rather than entering a nursing facility (which also comes at a far greater cost). Key programs include: Meals on Wheels, housekeeping, home safety upgrades, personal care, and community services such as adult day centers. Together, these programs provide a support network and cushion that can make all the difference in providing senior years of independence and dignity.

The picture above illustrates why this program works. A care manager with the Council on Aging and I visited the home of Hulda Gehring, who is 104 years old, who lives with her son Don, who is in his 80s, and his wife. While Don and his wife do most of the caring for Hulda, the several visits per week by the program's case worker, and the services she provides, free Don and his wife to tend to other chores, errands and demands on their time. It's a win-win; the family stays together, but the primary caregiver gets some much-needed assistance and relief.

In other cases, this same service allows long-time couples to stay together and live independently, providing similar relief for a caregiving spouse.

Hulda, by the way, still pays close attention to the news and politics of the day, listening to talk radio every day.


Anonymous said...

This is a great initiative. How does an everyday, ordinary citizen get involved/volunteer?

bananna said...

Cutest picture EVER!

Laurie said...

To anonymous - It sure is! Call Council on Aging Community Resources and Information Department at 345-8643. There's also lots of information about all we have to offer at www.help4seniors.org.

Laurie Petrie
Communications Director
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

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