FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb. 13, 2007
COLUMBUS – Today, Franklin County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that will ask the Board of Elections to put a replacement levy on the May 8, 2007 ballot.
The current senior services levy provides vital resources that enable seniors to maintain their independence and retain a good quality of life. The “one-stop shop” approach gives seniors and their families easy access to information and to a broad array of services and programs. Approximately 3,000 calls per month come in to the central access point. Each senior’s need is then assessed and appropriate connections are made.
“Seniors who stay in their homes enjoy a better quality of life and, statistically, a longer life,” Commission President Mary Jo Kilroy said. “These types of senior services levies have been the only resource that many communities have to provide the funding for the home and community based care that their aging citizens need. This is clearly an excellent way to provide these alternative services to those who prefer them to such options as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”
During 2006, funding from the senior services levy provided:
- Over 477,000 home delivered meals
- Close to 1,000,000 miles of transportation
- Over 19,000 days of adult day health care, which included over 1,000 baths for very frail seniors, whose family members could not bathe them at home
- Over 21,000 hours of assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing and hair washing, and
- Over 41,000 hours of respite care, which gives relief to family members.
“What we are going through today is a process of determining that the finances are necessary, and then we are going to be asking the voters of Franklin County to also concur with that by putting this on the ballot,” stated Commissioner Paula Brooks. “This is about keeping people in their homes, with their families, and allowing them to age in place.”
Approximately 5,000 seniors per month receive services. The typical participant in the Senior Options program is a widowed female over age 75, who lives alone; while over three hundred participants are over age ninety.
“With the increasing population of retired baby boomers, this is a growing situation that we need to seriously take into consideration as fellow, caring citizens of Franklin County,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown.
The system of care made possible by the senior services levy involves over eighty partner agencies in both the private for-profit and private non-profit sectors. In addition, grants to over thirty private non-profit agencies expand services such as nursing clinics, hearing aids, caregiver consultation, assistance with prescription drugs, pulmonary rehabilitation support, small group transportation and outreach to non-English speaking seniors.
The current senior levy expires at the end of 2007. Passage of the recommended .90 mill levy will ensure that services continue and will support services to additional seniors in need.