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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Managing the Hamilton County ESP waiting list to serve seniors most in need

As is sometimes the case with programs funded by tax levies, the Hamilton County Elderly Services Program (HCESP) is not able to serve all those who need help. Unfortunately, that means enrollment is limited and there is a waiting list of about 1,060 people.

However, Council on Aging staff are working to enroll people who are in critical or emergency need and to limit the time that others must wait. An ESP staff member has been contacting people on the waiting list, beginning with those who have been on the longest.

This serves two purposes: 1) It helps us identify those who can be removed from the list because they no longer need services or are eligible for other programs, and 2) it helps us identify emergency situations such as individuals who are in urgent need of care for medical reasons, but who don’t have family or other loved ones who might be able to help them.

According to COA Elderly Services Program Manager Kim Clark, this process of contacting those on the list is helping to streamline the enrollment process. When individuals make it to the top of the list, a care coordinator assesses their eligibility and helps with the enrollment process.

“This way, care coordinators can focus on helping people who will ultimately enroll in the program, rather than spending time on those who no longer need the services or who would be better served through another program,” Clark said.

HCESP is funded almost entirely via a 1.29-mill tax levy which was most recently renewed by the voters in November, 2012.

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