• Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Care Corner – Caring for Our Seniors: Support the Levy

Dr.  Tyra Oldham

One of the most instrumental needs in care is the services that wrap around or provide support to those in need. In my care journey with my mom, I have been fortunate to have physical therapists, care aides, occupational therapists, nursing, counselors, and doctors providing excellent support. All of these services amount to the quality of care. Today and this November, there is a Senior Services Levy. This levy supports the Council on Aging’s Elderly Services Program (ESP) will help over 88,000 seniors plus their families while reducing the load on the healthcare systems. “Today, one-third of Hamilton County households includes someone age 60 or older, states the ESP.” Before you shun a levy, the funding request is vital to our community to serve and protect seniors who require aides, nursing, home cleaning, and a myriad of services. The Senior Services Levy supports and provides the vital professionals our seniors need for daily living to increase their quality of care. “It helps older adults, families, and businesses. Hamilton County ESP makes a big difference for thousands of families who are caring for older loved ones. It helps working families keep mom and dad at home, while also helping businesses whose employees are struggling to balance work and caregiving responsibilities. ESP helps long-married spouses care for each other and stay together. And for those older adults who have no family nearby, it makes a difference in quality of life.” 

Paula Smith, Director of Communications, Council on Aging states,The senior services tax levy is a lifeline for older adults – and their families – who need help in order to remain independent in their homes and communities.”

When you go to mark your ballot on November 8th, make sure you vote for the Senior Levy; it’s for your friends, neighbors, and family!

“The need is real. Hamilton County’s older adult population is growing rapidly. Today, more than one in five residents is age 60 or older. By 2030 it will be closer to one in four. And, approximately 28 percent of county residents age 60 and older have a disability. Hamilton County ESP serves these individuals and their caregivers, helping them to live at home, instead of in a nursing home. Without the levy, the program would end. There is no other local program to take its place. The levy provides 89 percent of the funding for Hamilton County ESP. Other funding comes from federal and state sources (via Council on Aging), client donations, and co-payments.” 

Stephanie Seyfried, Director in Training – Program Operations, Council on Aging states, “The senior services tax levy is both compassionate and cost-effective because it helps older adults remain independent in their own homes – where they want to be – and at a fraction of the cost of institutional care.”

The Senior Levy “helps older adults while saving taxpayers money. It costs an average of $350 per month to help an older adult stay in their home via ESP. If that same person were in a nursing home on Medicaid, it would cost taxpayers more than $6,000 a month.” To financially support the sustainability of ESP, some of its clients are required to defray costs through a co-payment. The co-payment offsets the tax dollars. The co-payments are based on income, assets, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and services needed.” 

Hamilton County cares about its older residents. Voters have supported the levy and ESP for 30 years. To learn more about the work of the Council on Aging and the Levy, go to: http://www.helpourelderly.org/. Connect with them on social media: https://www.facebook.com/helpourelderly, https://www.instagram.com/helpourelderly/, and https://twitter.com/helpourelderly.

For more information on care support and caregiving advice, write or email the “Care Corner.” Want to discuss care? Care Corner is that place to talk care, address questions for current and potential caregivers, and provide suggestions on agencies, services, and tips to assist in a care journey. (Read more of the article from the Herald Newspaper– subscribe now

The Care Corner is for everyone, no matter their age or process in care. For more information on caregiving, send your questions to Care Corner at the Cincinnati Herald or via email at care@carecorner.info.