The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) promotes the economic self-sufficiency of older adults age 55 and older by providing paid, part-time job training in community service assignments. Located in 38 counties across Ohio, SCSEP provides a dual benefit to the communities it serves: improving job readiness of older workers while expanding the services provided by local nonprofit and government agencies.
In 2018, 84 people found work as a result of the training they received in the program. Across our 38 county service areas, 12,126 hours of work training were provided to 1,003 older workers. Nonprofits benefited by receiving 643,469 hours of service, allowing them to expand their capacity building efforts to administer their programs.
Our Behavioral Health Solutions program provides individuals ages 50 and older struggling with addiction to alcohol or other drugs and/or mental health issues with treatment and tools to help save their health and possibly their lives. Over 74% of our clients surveyed expressed improved functionality as a result of treatment at Behavioral Health Solutions. Our team of licensed helping professionals focuses on providing integrated services to provide a continuum of care, addressing physical, mental, and socio-economic aspects of an individual’s health. We specialize in the unique issues facing the older population, identifying physical factors that can attribute to increased impairment or risk. In 2018, our team provided 3,392 hours of group therapy and over 760 hours of individual treatment. Prevention programs included our Brown Bag Medication Review, provided to 153 people in 2018 and designed to eliminate potential drug interaction issues amongst older adults.
Supporting the nutritional needs of older adults in Summit, Stark, and Wayne Counties, our Meals on Wheels program provides home-bound and disabled clients with home-delivered meals. In Summit County, clients have the opportunity to choose their own delicious and nutritious meals to be delivered to their home to support their health and well-being. Stark and Wayne Counties enjoy a daily hot meal delivered to their home. Each visit includes a wellness check, where trained drivers can assess potential health issues, such as fall-risk assessments.
In 2018, Meals on Wheels delivered 284,853 meals to 649 home-bound clients. In our four congregate dining facilities, our program provides valuable socialization along with a healthy meal, serving 30,976 meals in 2018. As part of the VANTAGE Aging integrated care continuum for our multiple programs, meals on wheels was able to provide over 5,641 hours of training to participants.
Older adults with disabilities living in Summit County received assistance from our Home Wellness Solutions in order to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Home health aides provide non-medical, hands-on care for activities of daily living (ADL) that include bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, grooming, oral care, walking or using a wheelchair.
Additional assistance in wellness programming, including fall-risk assessment and prevention training, was also provided to promote healthier independent living senior citizens. Homemaker services provided housekeeping, laundry, shopping, and meal preparation to support customer independence and chore services provided deep cleaning to customers needing help with more labor-intensive tasks such as carpet scrubbing.
Providing the Home Wellness Solutions programs prevented low-income customers from being forced into assisted living or nursing home facilities, which can cost an average of $75,000 per year, by offering services at about $1,875 per year. This prevented an increase in Medicaid costs being passed onto taxpayers. A survey administered in 2017 to homecare recipients indicated 99% of customers remained in their own home because of the services they received from VANTAGE Aging. A customer stated, “I owe my life to you! I was dying in the nursing home, but when I came home and you came, it restored my health!”
In the fiscal year 2018, 9,802 hours of home health aide services and 3,824 hours of homemaker services were provided for 67 customers and 203 hours of case management services were provided. 202 nurse visits were also provided to customers to provide wellness assistance. An additional 140 clients received 1,747 hours of chore services.
Serving as a host site for RSVP, a Senior Corps Program of the Corporation for National and Community Services, VANTAGE Aging promotes volunteer opportunities for older adults in Summit and Medina Counties. By assessing the interests, talents, and skills of adults 55 and older, we bring together community partners with a strong corps of experienced volunteers to help build capacity and outreach efforts for food pantries, health and wellness programs, social service agencies, and assistance to home-bound seniors. In 2018 the RSVP program had 347 volunteers in Summit and Medina Counties, who together provided over 13,473 hours of community service to benefit 16 non-profits.
When surveyed, 100 percent of respondents agreed that volunteering made a difference in their community and 100 percent agreed that volunteering with RSVP made them feel like an active part of their community. When asked how volunteering makes them feel, 100 percent of the responses indicated they enjoyed meeting new friends and interesting people. With 43 percent of the respondents being age 75 or older, RSVP proves that regardless of age, volunteers can make a difference in a community and in people’s lives.