PCCOA services help seniors remain independent at home


Editor:

Preble County Council on Aging services enhance the lives of older adults by helping them to remain independent at home.

According to the National Council on Aging, 90 percent of elderly citizens want to stay in their own home. That is where we want them to be as long as they can. Our services are vital to seniors and their families in our county. Our services supplement the care that families provide. We can’t provide 24-hour care but we can help with needs. Our services help keep younger caregivers, at and focused on, their jobs, which in turn keep them as contributing members of our community.

Given the current economic climate and the political focus on reduced domestic spending and federal taxes, it seems unlikely that major federal initiatives to support services for older people outside of the current Social Security and Medicare frameworks will occur. The current economy has everyone worried. We have trimmed our costs and have become as lean as possible without cutting services. We partner with other agencies to stretch our dollars and to be good stewards of our levy funds. So many people depend on our services.

Here are a few written testimonies that we have received over our 43 years of service.

“I just wanted to let you know that Dad passed away last week. If it weren’t for the Council on Aging I don’t know what Dad would have done. When Mom died three years ago, Dad seemed almost helpless. Mom had always cooked for him, did his laundry, cleaned his house and when his eyes developed cataracts it was fine because Mom drove.

“Then she passed away and Dad started to get depressed. He wasn’t eating or cleaning his house or even wearing clean clothes. I had to work and take care of my children. As you know my brother Bill and my sister Susan live outside of Preble County so his welfare became my responsibility. I was leaving work and jeopardizing my job to take him lunch every day and to all of his doctor appointments because he couldn’t see well enough to drive any more. At the end of the work day I would head over to his house to make sure he had supper and was fine for the night. Then I would go home to be Mom to my kids and a wife to my husband. I was balancing my life on a thin wire.

“Then I met you. When you told me about all of the services that the Council on Aging offers I was amazed. But when you offered to pick Dad up at home and bring him into the Senior Center for activities and lunch, I couldn’t believe my ears. You know he didn’t want to come the first day. Thankfully your employees made him feel so special that he wanted to come back.

“When Dad started having more health problems he needed more support. Your Homemaking Service made a big difference in his life. He loved seeing his homemaker as much as I loved the services she provided. Then he started using the Transportation service for medical appointments. He enjoyed riding with the drivers and cutting up with them too. I am certain that these services saved my job. I was able to work while your staff transported him and kept his home just like he were your own father.

“Now he is gone and I want to thank the Council on Aging for providing my father with superior service that allowed me more time to spend with him as my dad and not my patient.” — Mary

“My mother is lucky to have Preble County Senior Citizen’s Services. I live in Columbus, Ohio and work full-time, making it difficult to get to Eaton regularly. Your services make my mom’s life easier, and that makes my life easier, which I truly appreciate.” — C. Phillips

This testimony came to us via our Facebook page.

“I truly am so thankful for all they do for my Uncle Charlie!! They take him to and bring him home from dialysis three times a week. The Drivers are all AMAZING, and always friendly and so considerate and helpful!!!! I truly thank GOD for them!” — D. Lay

Why do we need this levy? We need the money to continue our mission of helping older adults stay as active, healthy and independent as possible.

What would we have if we didn’t have the levy? Our programs serves all older adults from the lowest economic means to people who can afford private home care but don’t have the family support. We provide a cost-effective way to support long-term care for seniors and taxpayers. If the 3,000 people we currently serve a year were to go into a Medicaid Nursing Home their cost would be almost 13 million dollars each month. A renewal levy will allow us to continue meeting the current need. Local tax dollars cover 57 percent of the cost of our entire program. Additional funding comes from federal and state sources via AAA, client donations, United Way as well as small amounts from others.

Thank you for voting yes on Issue 25. We are asking for a renewal so the cost to the taxpayer would remain the same – just pennies a day.

Holly Steele

Preble Co. Council on Aging