Awards and grants recognize COA's leadership in workforce research and COVID response
During fiscal year 2020, several organizations recognized COA’s innovative programs and also entrusted the agency with significant grants to help older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both our Care Census, a research project designed to help local businesses understand the impact of elder caregiving on their workforce, and our COVID-19 Comfort Meal program, which provides isolated older adults with restaurant meals, received recognition. Read more.
COA adapts Healthy U to reach older adults at home
Healthy U workshops focus on helping older adults take better control of their health. The workshops are successful because they bring together people who are facing common obstacles to healthy living, but who also share a common goal. Because of COVID-19, workshops that were typically held in community settings such as churches and community centers, had to be cancelled. Recognizing the need to keep older adults engaged and invested in their health and well-being, COA adapted Healthy U to be offered as virtual and phone-based workshops. Read the full story.
Amid pandemic, Butler County voters overwhelmingly approve senior services levy
In November, Butler County voters overwhelmingly approved a renewal of the county’s senior services tax levy. The levy is the primary funding source for the county’s Elderly Services Program (ESP). Annually, ESP helps more than 4,000 older adults with disabilities remain in their own homes with independence and dignity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ESP has been an important resource for people who never before needed help. Read the full story.
COA launches USDA Senior Farmers' Market Program in region
During Ohio’s 2020 growing season, more than 1,100 low-income seniors in COA's five-county service area participated in the United States Department of Agriculture Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program for the first time. The program provides fresh, nutritious, unprepared locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey through farmers markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture (CSA) farmers. In addition to the program's traditional approach where older adults use coupons to pick up produce at farmers' markets, COA also engaged three CSA farmers in a pilot program to deliver their produce directly to five low-income senior apartment buildings in Hamilton and Butler counties. Learn more about the program launch.
FastTrack Home expands to Warren County, supports older adults and caregivers during COVID-19 pandemic
With a full-time job, three grandchildren to look after and an elderly father to care for, Shelley’s plate was full. When her father, Wayne, was admitted to a Warren County hospital, it threw her for a loop. COA's FastTrack Home program provided support to help Wayne recover safely at home – at a time when Shelley needed to focus on her own health. Read the full story.
COA adapts meal programs to better serve older adults and families
During fiscal year 2020, COA made changes within its nutrition programs to better meet the needs of older adults and their families in the region. The changes, in part, were the results of input we received through a 2018 community needs assessment. In 2020, we began to provide "kinship" meals to grandchildren who are living with a qualifying older adult. In addition, we expanded options for certain types of therapeutic meals to meet special dietary and nutritional needs of clients who receive home-delivered meals. Read the full story.
COA recognizes those who go above and beyond for older adults
Two local standouts in the area of caregiving received COA's annual awards in 2020. Anita Logsdon, a full-time nurse and caregiver to her parents, received our President's Award for her dedication to her caregiver role, and willingness to share her experience to help other caregivers. Learn more about Anita. Brett Syph, a home health aide with COA provider Nova Home Care, received our Outstanding Direct Service Provider Award. Nova owner Michael Chernov said, “Brett exemplifies what being a care provider should be for all who choose to work in the field…He is loved and respected by the clients for whom he provides services…He really is a professional who cares deeply for his clients." Learn more about Brett.
Critical home care workforce deserves recognition
Home health aides provide critical and often life-saving care for many COA clients, allowing them to remain in their homes. Yet nationwide, home health aides earn less than $12 per hour on average, with nearly one-quarter living below the federal poverty line. Medicaid reimbursement rates are not keeping pace with inflation or wages in other sectors of the economy. This has resulted in a nationwide shortage of home health aides, and a workforce in jeopardy. COA has made changes to its programs to help combat aide shortages and to ensure clients continue to experience the stability aides provide. We established the Service in Excellence Awards to recognize aides for the important work they perform. Since 2019, we have recognized 119 aides. Read the full story.
Amazon.com wish list project brightens clients' holidays
During the 2019 holiday season, Council on Aging launched for the first time a wish list on Amazon.com to help fulfill needs of a number of our clients. Participation was high, and our clients received more than 200 gifts. The wish list included basic items such as personal care, household and clothing items, as well as unique items that will help enrich our clients’ lives. Most were things – as basic as socks, sheets and shampoo – that our clients typically go without because they do not have the means to purchase or acquire them on their own. Read more.
Own Your Future workshops go virtual
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, we continued to hold our free Own Your Future long-term care planning workshops, but in an online format. The workshops offer community members an unbiased source of information to help them plan for the future. The 21 community members who participated during September heard from three experts who cover everything from legal considerations to long-term care options. Learn more about Own Your Future.
COA launches Aging Mastery Program
The Aging Mastery Program is an evidence-informed enrichment program developed by National Council on Aging that encourages adults to take steps to support happiness and longevity. COA launched the program in our area last year, and 51 older adults graduated after participating in the series of classes that cover everything from physical activity to financial fitness. Learn more about the Aging Mastery Program.