Elderly Services Program

Elderly Services Program
"There is a solution to every problem. All you have to do is find it." Rosalee (right) with her ESP care manager, Jennifer

The Elderly Services Program (ESP) helps older adults remain safe and independent in their homes. It expands care that may be provided by family and friends. ESP can delay or prevent nursing home placement.

Each year, some 12,000 older adults in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties received care in their own homes through the Elderly Services Program.

Services and Benefits 

The Elderly Services Program provides in-home care for eligible seniors who might otherwise be forced to leave their homes and enter a nursing facility. ESP provides services such as Meals on Wheels, personal care (bathing and grooming), home-making and emergency response devices, to name a few. ESP clients also have a care manager who advocates for their needs, answers questions, and makes sure they receive the right services. Care managers have their clients` best interests at heart.

The typical ESP client is a woman in her 80s. She lives alone on a modest income of between $1,400-$1,700 per month, from which she pays between $240-$320 in out-of-pocket medical costs. Her income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, but too low to allow her to hire in-home help.

From ESP, she receives an emergency response device, a daily home-delivered meal, and several hours a week of housekeeping help. ESP also added grab bars to her bathroom. With the help of her family and these basic services, she avoids premature placement in a nursing home.

Client choice for home-delivered meals:
Clients of the Elderly Services Program have the option to choose the provider organization they want for their services. But often, people are not familiar with organizations and don’t know which to choose. Now, Council on Aging has created a Client Choice Table that will help people select a provider. Currently, this table is available only for clients of the Hamilton County Elderly Services Program who have home-delivered meals as a service. Over time, Council on Aging will be expanding this to other services and counties.

The Client Choice Table for home-delivered meals providers in Hamilton County includes a quality rating for each of the six providers (one to four stars). This quality rating is based on client satisfaction surveys and cost to produce the meals. The table also shows the zip codes each provider serves. Some providers do not serve certain zip codes.

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Eligibility is based on county of residence, age, and level of impairment in basic activities of daily living. Co-payment may be required depending on income. To enroll in the program, you may call Council on Aging at 800-252-0155. There will be initial screening over the telephone. If you meet certain criteria, a care manager will visit you in your home. Eligibility can only be determined in person, not over the telephone.  

You may qualify for ESP if you are:

  • A resident of Butler, Clinton, Hamilton or Warren counties
    • Hamilton and Warren County residents must be age 60 or older
    • Butler and Clinton County residents must be age 65 or older 
  • Impaired in everyday activities such as bathing, driving and preparing meals

If you live in Clermont County, contact Clermont Senior Services to learn about in-home care options.

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The Elderly Services Program is funded by senior services tax levies in each county.  For most clients, care is free of charge.  However, to stretch tax dollars as far as possible, those who can afford it are asked to pay a co-payment for their services.  Co-payments are set on a sliding scale depending on income, assets and medical expenses. (More information) 

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Waiting Lists

Openings now available in Clinton County Elderly Services Program. A waiting list in place since 2009 was eliminated early in 2015. Currently, there is no wait to receive an assessment and enroll in the program - if found eligible.  However, this could change because there is a limit to the number of people the program is funded to serve. For more information, call 513-721-1025 or 800-252-0155.

Effective May 25, 2016 openings are now available in Hamilton County Elderly Services Program.  A waiting list has been in place for over two years and has been eliminated May of 2016.  There is no wait to receive an assessment and enroll in the program - if found eligible.  However, this could change because there is a limit to the number of people the program is funded to serve. For more information, call 513-721-1025 or 800-252-0155.

At times, there is a need to have a waiting list, due to the program funded through county tax levies, funding is limited, and we must keep enrollment within budget.

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Many people wonder how the Elderly Services Program is different from PASSPORT, the state funded in-home care program. To qualify for PASSPORT, clients must be low income (Medicaid eligible) and severely disabled. Council on Aging works with area Department of Job and Family Services to determine Medicaid eligibility.

Most people do not qualify for Medicaid but still cannot afford to pay privately for in-home care. Friends and family may provide some help, but it`s often not enough. This is where the Elderly Services Program steps in. ESP is a taxpayer supported program that, for many, may be their last option before nursing home placement. ESP clients can have a higher income level (some ESP clients have a co-payment) and a less-severe level of disability than PASSPORT clients. Because ESP is supported by county tax dollars, it is reserved for those who have no other options; it is the payer of last resort. In other words, ESP clients may not be eligible for services through another source such as Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.

Despite differences in income and disability qualifications, PASSPORT and ESP offer many of the same in-home care services, including housekeeping, personal care, transportation and home-delivered meals.

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Additional Information

Contact Us

For more information or to find out if you qualify: 

(513) 721-1025
(800) 252-0155
(513) 651-0691 TTY/TDD

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175 Tri County Parkway | Cincinnati, OH 45246 | (513) 721-1025