Butler County program helps older adults remain independent at home
Each year, the Butler County Elderly Services Program helps more than 4,100 older adults with disabilities remain in their own homes with independence and dignity. It provides services such as home-delivered meals, help with homemaking and personal care, and transportation. It prevents unnecessary nursing home placement.
This is a program that benefits our entire community. Beyond older adults, it supports caregivers struggling to juggle the responsibilities of family, career and elder caregiving. ESP provides supplemental care that enables family caregivers to continue working, which is good for business and our economy.
The Senior Services Levy is vitally important to the Elderly Services Program – it provides more than 90 percent of the program’s funding. In short, without the levy, the program would end and there is nothing else to replace it. The levy expires at the end of this year and a renewal levy will be on the ballot. Because it's a renewal levy, it won't increase taxes. The Senior Services Levy costs homeowners $3.50 a month per $100,000 in home valuation.
A committee of volunteers is already working hard to prepare for the fall election. They’re raising donations, organizing volunteers and more to make sure Butler County voters know how important the Senior Services Levy is for families in our community.
Voters have generously renewed this levy several times since it was first passed in 1996, but we cannot take that past support for granted. This year’s election presents unique challenges with a presidential election at the top of the ballot and a lot of uncertainty related to COVID-19.
In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Elderly Services Program has been an important support network for older adults who’ve been unable to leave their homes. Click here to read more about these efforts. And, older adults will continue to be impacted by COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. The Elderly Services Program is an important community resource they can turn to when they need help.
To find out how you can get involved in the campaign, click here. For information about the program or to ask about services, call (513) 868-9281.
Unique service lifts Butler County older adults out of depression
Though they may be at an increased risk, depression should not be a normal part of life for older adults.
In fact, simple things like helping isolated older adults reconnect to the outside world, or focusing on things that can be done versus things that can’t, are effective at relieving symptoms.
Since 2007, a program called Uplift has provided in-home treatment for county residents age 60 and older. According to program manager, Kelsey Donnini, 82 percent of Uplift referrals come from ESP. She says this makes sense because ESP care managers are ideally positioned to identify people who need support. And, ESP care managers are excellent partners in ensuring clients get the most out of the program. Success rates are high – 89 percent of Uplift clients who complete their personal program show an improvement in symptoms.
ESP client, Margot, agrees: “Being able to talk one on one with someone – to share my ups and downs without judgement – saved my life. You don’t know what’s going on in your head until someone says to you, ‘Do you want to talk about it?’”
In 2019, 122 ESP clients received services via Uplift. The program is a partnership of COA and the Butler County Mental Health Board and is administered by Butler Behavioral Health.