Senior Edition: Receive utility bill assistance


By Wende Kluener - For PCCOA



PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County Council on Aging (PCCOA) has several great opportunities for seniors.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – The 2021 Summer Crisis Program (SCP)

The 2021 Summer Crisis Program (SCP) will provide eligible households with a one-time benefit to assist with electric utility bills, central air conditioning repairs, and air conditioning unit and/or fan purchases. Household income must be at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and households must have at least one additional eligibility criteria listed below:

A household member who is age 60 or older.

A household member has a documented medical condition verified by a licensed medical professional who is qualified under Ohio law to write prescriptions.

A household member that was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 12 months. May provide a written statement as proof of medical diagnosis.

Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP) customers are eligible for assistance towards their default PIPP payment, first PIPP payment, central air conditioning repairs, or may receive an air conditioning unit and/or fan.

A household’s electric utility has a disconnect notice, has been shut off, or new electric service is being established for the household. These households may also receive an air conditioning unit and/or fan or central air conditioning repairs, if the household can maintain electric service for 30 days.

This year the program will be open July 1 through Sept. 30, 2021. The maximum benefit amounts for the 2021 program are $500 for customers of regulated utilities and $800 for customers of unregulated utilities (municipal utilities or cooperatives). Air conditioning units and/or fans may only be provided to eligible customers who have not received an air conditioning unit or fan in the last three years. Local Energy Assistance Providers must complete OCA Form 223 to document the prior year’s SCP inventory and project the quantity of air conditioning units and fans needed for the 2021 SCP.

New this year: the utility assistance benefit is separate from the additional benefit. Households may receive the maximum utility assistance benefit towards their electric bill and still receive an additional benefit (i.e., central air conditioner repair, air conditioner unit, and/or fan) SCP appointments should be scheduled with the local energy assistance provider.

We Need Your Smiling Face

We are offering three great opportunities for you to help the seniors in our community. We continue to get more clients for home delivered meals and now have a waiting list. Delivering meals is fun and the seniors look forward to seeing you each day during the week. Often times you are the only person our clients see each day. This job is incredibly special and vital as we provide wellness checks for our senior clients each day throughout the week. We need help with transportation getting our seniors to medical appointments. We also need help in our kitchen with meal prep and service in our Decades Diner. If you are interested please stop by and fill out an application or give us a call for more information.

Senior Center is Open to All

Please plan to join us for meals, activities and lots of socialization. If you are not a member, now is the time to sign up. Membership is only $10 a year and includes our bi-monthly newsletter, Senior Scene, packed with lots of information, menus, activities, stories and photos, discounts on trips and excursions, free copying and laminating and you receive all the news and announcements first!

Silver Sneakers Classic is Back

Have fun and move to music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement, and activity for daily living skills. Hand held weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a ball are offered for resistance. A chair is used for seated and/or standing support. This class is designed for all ages and ability levels. We are partnering with the YMCA to bring Silver Sneakers to the Senior Activities Center! Join us every Monday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for this fun class beginning Monday, Aug. 2. The class is free to members and $5 for non-members.

Thursday Night Weekly Dance – I Dance My Way

Our dance will return at the Preble County Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 4 beginning at 5:00 p.m. and then continue each Thursday thereafter at the Big Red Barn, Senior Center, 800 E. St Clair Street. We will provide free transportation from the Senior Center parking lot to the fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Calling All Volunteers

Our levy is fast approaching during the general election on Tuesday, Nov, 2, and we will be providing all the necessary information for you to make an informed choice when we ask you to vote for our seniors in November! But today, we would like to let you know that we are looking for volunteers to help with our Levy “Honk-Ins.” We will be out on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 29 at various locations throughout Preble County with posters and waves to the public all in an attempt to drive awareness that our senior center needs support this year in the November election. If you would like to join us, please contact Wende Kluener at wkluener@prebleseniorcenter.org or call 937-456-4947 for details and to sign up!

Sponsor-a-Senior – Meals on Wheels

You can make a difference in a senior’s life by donating just $12.50 a week. That’s $2.50 per day; $50 a month or $600 a year. Any amount will help. Your donation provides so much more than a hot, nutritious meal. You help provide a visit by one of our trained drivers to bring not only a meal, but a wellness check, a smile and conversation, and help with tasks such as bringing in the mail. Our drivers look forward to checking on his/her seniors each week day and the seniors look forward to seeing our drivers. No amount is too small. Please consider making a donation by calling 937-456-4947.

By Wende Kluener

For PCCOA