Seniors are among the groups most at-risk for serious complications from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are being advised to remain in their homes to limit their exposure to the disease. Council on Aging (COA) and Clinton County’s Elderly Services Program (ESP) are working with other community organizations to care for seniors during this uncertain time by providing extra support for meals, other essential supplies and wellness checks. Help is available to any senior in need – not just those who are currently enrolled in ESP or another COA program.
Because of COVID-19, many seniors are afraid to leave their homes to get food and other essential supplies and they are turning to COA for help. And, they are becoming increasingly isolated as this public health emergency goes on.
As the state-designated Area Agency on Aging for Southwestern Ohio (with an office in Clinton County) COA is a local resource seniors can turn to in times of need. Seniors can contact COA’s Aging and Disability Resource Center in Clinton County by calling (937) 449-0642. Due to Governor Mike DeWine’s social distancing and self-isolation orders, COA’s Clinton County office is closed to the public, however staff are available and ready to help by phone.
“We’ve seen tremendous support from the Clinton County community in serving seniors during this time,” said Carla McCauley, a care manager in Clinton County’s Elderly Services Program. “People and businesses are donating supplies to help seniors in need, but we know there are more seniors out there who need our help. I encourage any senior in the county who needs help to call us. We are here to help you through this.”
Clinton County seniors can call (937) 449-0642 for help in obtaining meals and other essential supplies such as toilet paper, personal care items and cleaning supplies. Volunteers are also available to conduct friendly wellness checks with seniors by phone. Again, help is available to any senior in need – not just those who are currently enrolled in ESP or another COA program.
COA, in conjunction with partner, Clinton County Community Action Agency, has already provided boxes of shelf stable meals to all Clinton County ESP clients who receive home-delivered or congregate meals – approximately 130 clients. The boxes include 14-days of shelf-stable meals and are intended to be set aside for use if regular home-delivered meals service is disrupted due to COVID-19.
At this time, there have been no service disruptions in home-delivered meals or most other ESP services. The exception is adult day services. The governor ordered the closure of all senior adult day sites, as well as senior centers and congregate meal sites. Seniors who were using ESP adult day services have been offered respite care as an alternative. Congregate meal clients are now receiving home delivered meals. Program staff continue to closely monitor service needs and the provider network.
COA and ESP are working with community partners to collect and distribute other needed supplies for seniors. COA is partnering with area churches and non-profits to collect donations. ESP staff and other volunteers are delivering supplies to seniors as they become available.
Donna Slone-Gumbert, Director of Marketing at Continental Manor, is helping to coordinate the supply donation in Clinton County. “It’s amazing to see the community coming together to help seniors during this time of crisis,” Slone-Gumbert said. “Little by little we are collecting items and getting them out to seniors in need. I feel that this collaborative experience will leave our community well-equipped to serve seniors in any situation.”
People who would like to donate supplies for seniors in need can donate online (see below) or drop off items at two locations in Clinton County:
- Church of Christ in Blanchester, 911 Cherry St, Blanchester, 12-4pm, April 10. Donations can be dropped off at the door under the awning.
- Donate online through COA’s community partner, www.fillthetruck.org.
The following supplies are needed for donation (unused, unopened supplies only – no food items):
- Toilet Paper (4pk, preferred – no single, unwrapped rolls)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Bar Soap
- Liquid Hand Soap
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Denture Care Items
- Lysol Spray
- Dish Detergent
- Laundry Detergent
- Cat and Dog Food
- Consider adding a friendly note or having your child(ren) color a picture that can be included in the boxes we deliver to seniors.
“This is an extraordinary time for everyone, but seniors are particularly at risk,” said Suzanne Burke, Council on Aging’s CEO. “Our staff are working hard to make sure seniors in our region have the supplies they need to get through this public health emergency. Our message is simple: ‘Please call us if you need help.’”
Council on Aging’s role in Clinton County
COA is the state-designated Area Agency on Aging for southwestern Ohio, including Clinton County. As such, COA is responsible for planning, coordinating and administrating local, state and federally-funded programs and services for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers.
COA also administers the Clinton County Elderly Services Program via a contract with Clinton County Commissioners. ESP receives about 82 percent of its funding from a local senior services tax levy. The rest of the funding comes from state and federal funds allocated by Council on Aging, client donations and client co-payments.
ESP provides home-delivered meals, housekeeping help, medical transportation, personal care and other basic services to help older adults remain independent in their homes. In 2018, the program served 582 seniors throughout Clinton County. Information about ESP is available through the Clinton County Resource Center or www.help4seniors.org.
Council on Aging also distributes federal Older Americans Act funding in Clinton County. In 2018, Clinton County organizations received and spent nearly $369,000 in such funds for services including senior center services, transportation, meals, caregiver support and legal services.
About Council on Aging
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. COA promotes choice, independence, dignity and well-being through a range of services that help people remain independent for as long as possible.
COA is a state-designated Area Agency on Aging serving a multi-county region. One call to COA links people to the wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities.
175 Tri County Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45246 | 513-721-1025 | 800-252-0155 | www.help4seniors.org
Clinton County Resource Center
2333 Rombach Avenue, Wilmington, OH 45177 | 937-449-0642 | 800-252-0155 | www.help4seniors.org