THANK YOU TO THE WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

In 1965 Congress created the Older Americans Act (OAA).  The OAA was designed to provide federal resources for seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible by providing community-based long term care services. The creation of OAA provided nutritional benefits and supplemental services to individuals with long term care needs.  However, the funding has not kept up with the demand. Per the census, the Wayne County senior population has increased approximately 11% as a result of the baby boomers reaching senior status and with medical advances prolonging life.  Funding for all these programs have been strained as a result.

One of the several programs that have been impacted is the home delivered meal program. Wayne County Department of Aging and Youth contracts with Home Meal Services, Inc. for the provision of home delivered meals. In 2015, Home Meal Services provided 24,596 meals, funded by our office, to 125 participants. Due to the senior population increasing, in 2017, the Home Meal Services Program provided 36,010 meals to 170 participants and is projected to reach 37,000 meals in 2018. This created a funding shortfall for meals.  For the first time in 25 years our agency was faced with a waiting list for meals.

Eligibility for Federal and/or State funded home delivered meals is based on several criteria; the person must be 60 years of age or older, who is home bound and incapacitated due to accident, illness or frailty and are unable to prepare meals due to inability to shop or cook for themselves and lack the support of friends or family. The home delivered meal participant is typically over 75, disabled, socially isolated without an informal support system. Each participant receiving governmental funding for meals is required to have a comprehensive assessment completed to determine the need for any or all of the community based services offered by either our agency or other community resources.

The state budget passed in April 2018.  Our Department was able to obtain supplemental state funding to help offset the deficit but still required more funding to support the need.  The situation was presented to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors.  They unanimously agreed to provide the additional funding needed to serve seniors eligible for home delivered meals. They recognize that programs such as home delivered meals promote older adults to live independently at home.  Without these supports in place many seniors would need nursing home placement.

On behalf of the Department of Aging and Youth, the Home Meal Services Program and the 150 home delivered meal participants, I would like to thank the Wayne County Board of Supervisors for their support!

 

Two Local Agencies Form a New

Partnership to Enhance Medical Transportation Services for Senior Adults

 

Wayne County Department of Aging and Youth was awarded funding from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, specifically the Bullis Fund, to expand and enhance transportation for senior adults in order to access necessary medical care.

Recognizing the growing need for safe, supportive and affordable ways for seniors to get to and from their medical appointments and pharmacies, the Wayne County Department of Aging and Youth will now partner with the existing WCAP Volunteer Transportation Corps.  The funding will provide structure, support, and increased mileage reimbursement to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers that are willing to use their own vehicles to transport other seniors to their doctors. supplemental insurance, background criminal and driving record checks for the volunteers will be provided by the RSVP program.

The Volunteer Transportation Corps (VTC) is a program administered in Wayne, as well as Seneca and Ontario counties, by Wayne County Action Program, Inc.  RSVP engages seniors, age 55 or better, into service to help address health issues experienced in our region due to the fact that many seniors simply cannot get to and from their doctors independently. VTC drivers receive training, recognition and mileage reimbursement for the rides they provide for their peers.

The structure and support for this new partnership will be additionally enhanced by the inclusion of a Finger Lakes Living Healthy AmeriCorps member to be responsible for volunteer recruitment, training and the transportation coordination for seniors calling in requesting medical transport.  Please contact WayneCAP to learn more about driving opportunities or Americorps volunteer positions. (315) 665-0131.  If you ARE in need of a ride, please call (315) 665-0131. Leave a message if the phone is not answered immediately. We WILL return your call!

 

Penny Shockley, Director