Council on Aging Annual Report Preview: Shirley

Monday, February 13, 2017

Shirley is 78 years strong and continues to demonstrate an independent streak. She takes great pride in the fact that she has been able to take care of herself and live by her own rules for much of her life. Even though health problems have forced her to reach out for help, it is natural for Shirley to want to remain independent in her own home for as long as possible.

Shirley is one of several Council on Aging clients who are featured in our 2016 Annual Report, which will be released at our annual meeting, March 15. The report will be available in print and online.

Annual Report Preview Shirley
 Shirley (right), with her Care Coordinator, Dawn, is one of the COA clients who will be featured in upcoming 2016 COA Annual Report. 

As one of 12,524 older adults in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties who receive services from their counties’ respective Elderly Services Programs (ESP), Shirley has been able to get the services she needs to remain in her home and at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers compared to Medicaid-funded nursing home care.

The Elderly Service Programs and some of our clients are featured in COA's Annual Report. 2016 was a significant year for the ESP programs, with voters from two counties generously passing renewal levies by record margins and another celebrating a milestone anniversary. More important, it was a successful year for the clients and their families and caregivers whose lives were impacted by the programs, including Shirley, who remains in her home.

“I like it here,” she said. “I have nice neighbors and a wonderful landlord. I don’t know how I could stay here without the help I receive.”

In spite of the assistance from ESP, Shirley’s plans to remain in her home were jeopardized four years ago when she faced a new health challenge that required difficult surgery. But with help from her COA care coordinator, Dawn, she prevailed. Dawn adjusted Shirley's services to allow her to remain at home after the surgery. She receives transportation, home-delivered meals, an emergency response device and an aide to help her with shopping, laundry and other physically challenging chores. She is able to retain her choice of aids, Carol, through Hamilton County ESP’s Consumer Directed Care option.

Because her arthritis makes it difficult to write, Shirley also receives Independent Living Assistance, which provides help with personal paperwork. She values all of the services that have helped her remain at home.

“I just can’t say it enough. Dawn and everybody in the program have just been wonderful to me. It is a great program.”