Last updated: December 31. 2013 8:23PM - 590 Views
STACY KESS skess@civitasmedia.com

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Grant recipients

The Council for older adults announced $531,242.60 in grants distributed among 14 programs and agencies:

• AARP Tax-Aide: $4,249.11 to purchase new laptops and a printer for the volunteer-based tax preparation program

• Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio: $51,700, to provide supportive services to individuals facing Alzheimer’s or a related dementia diagnosis as well as to improve the caregiver’s ability to provide care in an effort to improve quality of life for both the caregiver and the individual with dementia

• Catholic Social Services: $27,966, to support the Senior Companion Program

• Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA): $10,000, to support the Volunteer Guardianship Program for Delaware County

• Community Action Organization of Delaware, Madison, and Union Counties: $9,000 to support the Project Safe Heat program which improves energy efficiency, extends the overall life of the furnace and prevents dangerous furnace leakages

• Delaware Area Transit Association: $177,168 to allow DATA to provide affordable transportation service to all senior citizens of Delaware County; additionally, the Council for Older Adults has an agreement with DATA to subsidize their demand response costs with the “Bus Bucks” program

• Delaware County Juvenile Court: $4,600 to provide financial support for supervisors of Delaware County Juvenile Court suspension alternative program which offers community services by completing various chores for older adults

• Delaware General Health District: $25,601 to provide continued support to two evidence-based programs for Delaware County older adults: the Falls Prevention program and the Healthy U Chronic Disease Self-Management program

• Delaware Speech and Hearing Center: $72,086.01 to expand and enhance direct hearing and speech health service resources to older adults and their families

• Employment for Seniors: $9,526.48 to improve resources available to older adults seeking employment opportunities

• HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties: $33,485 for the Connections Senior Companion program site management and supervision of Companions; and $53,241 to operate a Connections volunteer center

• National Church Residences Center for Senior Health: $20,700 to assist with adult day care therapies not traditionally covered by insurance including creative arts, music, massage/reflexology, yoga and tai chi; and $10,000 to provide funding toward the purchase of a wheelchair-accessible van to be used to transport clients to/from the adult day care center

• The OhioHealth Foundation: $5,920 to support Driver Rehabilitation for Instruction and Vehicle Education (D.R.I.V.E.)

• People in Need: $10,000 to provide emergency financial assistance to older adults including prescription assistance, utility assistance, rent assistance, and more

The Council for Older Adults has announced more than $530,000 in grant money awarded to 14 Central Ohio organizations and agencies.

“Generally speaking, the COA (tries) to manage a comprehensive system of care for seniors,” said COA executive director Bob Horrocks. “As part of that, we think it’s important to provide funding to community partners who are engaged in serving seniors on a day-to-day basis. Fortunately through our senior service levy dollars, we’ve always been able to do that. It makes us a more coordinated system and it makes it more efficient.”

Grant applications were sent out to previous applicants and was advertised in the spring, and board’s grant review committee made recommendations to the full board after reviewing applications in the fall.

“Some of the grants are for things we’ve funded for 15 years or more, and some things can be totally new,” Horrocks said. “Pretty much the majority are the organizations we’ve funded before. Sometimes the specifics of that organization will change and sometimes not.”

Organizations such as AARP has received grant money in previous years, but not every year he said. They were awarded $4,249.11 for new equipment for their tax-assistance program.

Horrocks said COA also increased the funding to the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) volunteer guardianship program to $10,000. The program generally receives funding yearly.

“There’s a strong component of volunteer action in these grants – actively engaging volunteers where action is done,” he said.

Employment for Seniors, a new recipient of grant money, will received more than $9,500 and is planning job fairs in Delaware County.

“That’s an organization that’s based in Columbus and doing good work, and we wanted to give them some incentive to come to Delaware County,” he said. “There are a lot of folks who were retired or thought they were retired and are now looking for work.”

Horrocks said the method of funding outside organizations rather than use the levy money to create programs within the COA creates a tighter community and streamlines services.

“Why would we want to try to duplicate (services)?” he said. “Sometimes organizations say we’re going to do it all. We’re going to use all of these dollars ourselves. And we really felt like it’s more efficient.”

He said the method of grant distribution just makes sense for seniors in the community.

“When people call us, it keeps us involved with what’s going on int he community and helps us help people connect with the best place for then,” Horrocks said.

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