In 2020, we all faced unusual challenges as COVID-19 upended lives. As older adults were encouraged to stay home to avoid infection, the local Elderly Services Programs (ESP) and its network of partners became a lifeline, providing meals, masks, personal care and cleaning supplies to more than 14,000 older adults in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties. The program’s newly released 2020 annual reports detail how the program continued to provide essential in-home services to eligible older adults, while also pivoting to meet the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESP provides home-delivered meals, housekeeping help, medical transportation, personal care (such as help with bathing), and other basic services that help eligible older adults remain independent in their homes.
The program also benefits families who are trying to care for older loved ones while working or managing other responsibilities – three out of four U.S. workers have some form of caregiving responsibility (Harvard Business Review).
“I couldn’t leave my mom. She’s been my rock. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for me, and I owe her that, too.” said Suzie, whose mother, Priscilla, was enrolled in Clinton County ESP. Priscilla attended adult day care during the day while Suzie worked. But adult day centers were closed during the pandemic, leaving the family in need of care. The family’s story is included in the program’s 2020 report.
On average, across all counties, more than half of older adults enrolled in the Elderly Services Program live alone and more than 70 percent are age 70 or older. Approximately 70 percent of clients are female, with an annual income of about $24,400 and out-of-pocket medical costs of $339 per month. The most common services provided by the program include electronic monitoring systems, home-delivered meals, and help with housekeeping and personal care. These services, combined with help clients may already receive from family or friends, is enough to help an older adult live independently at home.
Most of the funding for the Elderly Services Program comes from county senior services tax levies. The program is a win-win for older adults, families and taxpayers. On average, the Elderly Services Program can provide in-home care services at a cost to taxpayers of $267 per month, per client. These services can delay or prevent nursing home placement, where the taxpayers’ cost for Medicaid averages more than $6,000 a month.
The reports were prepared by Council on Aging (COA), which administers the Elderly Services Program under contract with the Board of County Commissioners in each county. COA contracts with service providers to deliver in-home care and other services to eligible clients in each county.
Each report includes detailed demographic and financial data as well as a client story. Please visit the annual reports page on our website for easy access to the reports. You can request a hard copy via our Contact form.
For information about enrolling in the Elderly Services Program, click here or contact Council on Aging at (513) 721-1025.