Clinton County Elderly Services renewal levy to be on November ballot

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Clinton County Elderly Services Program Client
"This house - it's nothing beautiful, but I've lived here since I was 26 and I'm 88 now.  I'm OK here."  Gladys can stay in her home thanks to help she receives from the Clinton County Elderly Services Program.  Clinton County voters will have to approve a ballot measure on Nov. 8 if the program is to continue. 

A renewal of the Clinton County tax levy that provides services to help seniors stay in their homes will be on the ballot November 8.

The 1.5-mill, five-year levy will be a flat renewal and will not increase taxes. The cost to homeowners will be $37.67 per $100,000 of property value.

The levy provides 88 percent of the funding for Clinton County’s Elderly Services Program. The program serves nearly 450 seniors (age 65 and older) annually, providing basic, but critical services such as home-delivered meals, medical transportation, help with housekeeping and bathing, adult day services and more.

“Clinton County residents have reason to be proud of the support they have shown for this levy for 18 years,” said Council on Aging CEO Suzanne Burke. “It can make the difference between staying at home or being in a nursing home. It also helps families care for their older loved ones. It helps spouses care for each other and stay together. And it makes a big difference in quality of life for frail seniors who have no family nearby to help them.“

To be eligible, individuals must live in Clinton County, be age 65 or older, and be unable to perform certain daily activities without help. Services increase or decrease as a client’s needs change. About one-third of clients qualify to make a monthly co-payment to help cover their costs.

The program serves seniors living throughout the county in more than 13 different communities and is available to all eligible residents of the county. The top six locations are Union Township, Wilmington, Marion Township, Richland Township, Sabina and Green Township. 

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) manages the program via a contract with county commissioners. COA is a non-profit organization designated as the Area Agency on Aging for Clinton County and four other counties in southwestern Ohio. COA brings in federal funds which help support the Elderly Services Program and also provides other in-home care services for Clinton County seniors.

A volunteer organization, Clinton County Citizens for Elderly Services, advises the program. Council on Aging provides screening and care management for the program’s clients. Providers deliver the services, such as homemaking and transportation, via contracts with Council on Aging. Nearly 90 percent of providers have offices or headquarters in Clinton County. 

The need is real. According to the U.S. Census, more than one quarter of Clinton County households have at least one person age 60 or older.  Even more telling, among older adults, more than one-third report having at least one disability and 15 percent are low income. This indicates a need for the community to help support their care. 

Voters have shown strong support for the levy, approving it every time it has appeared on the ballot since the program began in 1998. Without the levy, the program would end and there is no other local program that could fill in. 

For more information, see the 2015 annual report for the Clinton County Elderly Services Program.