We are now Buckeye Hills Regional Council - Aging & Disability
Buckeye Hills Regional Council
(formerly Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional
Development District & Area Agency on Aging 8)

Monthly News
& Updates:
 May 2017
Area Residents Can Benefit from Housing Program 
Home Accessibility & Repair Options Offered
There is no place like home. For individuals trying to "age in place" or those with disabilities working for independence, one Buckeye Hills Regional Council program is making a difference.
Administered through Buckeye Hills in its 8-county southeast Ohio region, the $403,600 Housing grant was recently awarded by the Development Services Agency.

"Grants are available for income eligible families or individuals with a disability of any age or seniors 60+ who own their home or have a life estate in the property," said Joe Gage, Buckeye Hills Housing Coordinator. "For residents who qualify, monies may be used to assist with the costs associated with accessibility modifications such as widening doorways, wheelchair ramps, handicap modifications of a bathroom or kitchen and other minor home repairs."
Joe Gage (right) with program contractor Travis Wolf of Wolf Contracting.
Gage is also an Aging-In-Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) developed to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require housing modifications to "age in place."
These professionals are remodelers, general contractors, designers, architects and even health care consultants.

Gage is responsible for grant administration across the 8-county region. He can help eligible residents answer questions such as "how can I make my kitchen more functional; how do I modify my bathroom or home entrance and what type of contractor should I use?" The program will assess the home for eligible repairs and develop specifications for repair and bid the project to qualified contractors to complete the modifications.

Grants are available to fund accessibility modifications for income eligible families or individuals with a disability of any age or for minor home repairs for those income eligible over 60 years of age who own their home or have a life estate in the property.
In 2017: One person households served under this activity must be at or below the following income level:
  • Washington County- $19,650
  • and all other counties in the region are $19,400 (Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, & Perry).

Incomes are based on the number of family members in the home.
For more information, call 1-800-331-2644 or visit

Nurses Week:
May 6-12
National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6 - Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. 
Thanks to the Buckeye Hills nursing staff for  
your work and service across the 8-county region!

Vicki Bennett, RN 
Kay Brammer, RN 
Lori Chesnet, RN 
Sheena Childress, RN 
Bethanee Clark, RN 
Erin Davis, RN 
Tisha Hanifan, RN 
Belinda Hawks, RN 
Christy Horn, RN 
Judy Kuhn, RN 
Rochelle Lamm, RN 
Lynn Linscott, RN  

Beth Miller, RN 
Kerry Nicholson, RN 
Chris Platt, RN 
Beth Richardson, RN 
Rebecca Rodgers, RN 
Kara Schoonover, RN 
Kim Steed, RN 
Kim Urban, RN 
Darlene Vandine, LPN 
Rhonda Varhola, RN 
Terri Whitlatch, RN 
Jayne Yates, RN
Senior Farmers' Market Applications Now Available
Seniors who meet the income eligibility guidelines, will soon be receiving some welcome relief from rising food budgets. Administered by the Buckeye Hills Aging & Disability program, in the region, The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides income-eligible senior citizens with special coupons worth $50 to enjoy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey.

The Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a USDA and Ohio Department of Aging program for income-eligible seniors. Program coupons may be exchanged for eligible foods from authorized farmers. Only fresh, locally grown fruits, herbs, vegetables and honey are eligible to be purchased with the coupons.

Each eligible senior receives $50 worth of coupons. Grant funding is limited and coupons are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each person will receive a total of ten $5 coupons. Coupons may only be redeemed by authorized participating farmers who sell produce at farmers' markets or roadside stands. The program will end Oct. 31.
Buckeye Hills will accept applications ONLY BY MAIL. Applications will be available across the region, at the Buckeye Hills office (1400 Pike St. in Marietta) and online at www.buckeyehills.org. Community partners who will also have copies of the applications include the region's Senior Centers and HAPCAP.

Income eligibility requirements include:
1. one person in household with income of $0 - $22,311;
2. 2 people in household with income of $0 - $30,044; and
3. 3 people in household with income of $0 - $37,777;
additional numbers are available on the application.  
Applications must be returned by U.S. mail only to Buckeye Hills 1400 Pike St. Marietta, OH 45750.
Applications will be processed for distribution on a first-come, first-served basis, by county. Coupons will be mailed to eligible applicants as soon as possible after the registrations are processed. Ineligible applicants will receive a letter indicating the reason of ineligibility. Once each county's allocations have been filled, individuals will be placed on a waiting list and receive notification by mail.
In 2016, the region-wide program served 1,525 seniors with another 562 seniors put on a waiting list due to program funding limits. Last year the program was served by more than 50 local farmer and market providers who redeemed $62,795 in coupons. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.     
May Is Older Americans Month
Ohio's Theme: Age Out Loud! 
More than 2.5 million Ohioans are age 60 or older today, and this group is growing more than 20 times faster than the overall population.

This brings many challenges for our communities, but it also presents some exciting opportunities. More than ever, older Ohioans are working longer, trying new things and engaging in their communities. They're taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others.

What it means to grow older in Ohio and America has changed, and Older Americans Month helps us celebrate those changes. The 2017 theme, Age Out Loud, gives a new voice to aging - one that reflects what today's older adults have to say about it. Now is the time for all of us to replace outdated views with perspectives that are based on facts and experiences instead of fear, and shine a light on many important issues and trends. Ohio has a tremendous opportunity for the future when we embrace our growing and changing population. It is time to Age Out Loud!
Source: Ohio Department of Aging 
See Your Way Toward
a Steadier You

We depend on our vision for balance and to keep us safe in different
environments. However, age-related eye diseases increase the likelihood that you could experience a debilitating fall. Poor vision can inhibit your mobility and contribute to accidents. Ohioans age 65 and older who have an age-related eye disease are 50 percent more likely to fall according to the Ohio Department of Health. Of those who fall, 20 to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently.

Eye diseases not only can lead to a fall, they can also be a result.
Falls are the leading cause of eye injury, according to research from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all older adults have a yearly eye exam and wearing corrective lenses as prescribed
are important to help prevent falls. However, multifocal lenses, such as bifocals or progressive lenses, can affect your ability to move safely. Talk to your eye care professional about the best way to get used to your new glasses, as well as options, such as a pair of single-focus lenses to use when you are moving around.

Other ways to maximize vision minimize falls include:
  • Invest in good lighting and turn the lights on when it is dark.
  • Use the highest-wattage bulbs recommended for your light fixtures.
  • Add contrast (light on dark colors or vice versa) to household items, such as steps and bathroom fixtures.
  • Wear sunglasses or a hat with a brim to reduce sun glare outdoors.
 Source: The Ohio Dept. of Aging

Caregiver Corner

Caregivers and Respite Care: Everyone Needs a Break

Caregiving is a tough job. All caregivers need breaks! Respite care can help. If you are caring for an older, ill or disabled friend or family member, you know that caregiving is a hard job. All caregivers need a break at times. Respite care can help.

Respite care provides temporary services to a loved one while giving caregivers rest and relief. This care can be for a few hours or all day and can be occasional or ongoing.

"Respite care supports caregivers who often may grow tired or weary," said Buckeye Hills Caregiver Advocate Cathy Ash, LSW. "Being burned out isn't good for the individual providing care or the loved one receiving it. We hope that caregivers will call us for details on respite options in the area."

Remember, even a few hours or an occasional break can make a big difference! Call Buckeye Hills at 1-800-331-2644 for details on available respite resources in the region.

Source: Portions of this article taken from journeyworks series #5476
Dates to Remember:
May is Older Americans Month!
May 5
- Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive
Committee Meeting  
May 26 - Buckeye Hills Regional Advisory Council   
Buckeye Hills Regional Council

 740-374-6400 | 1400 PIke St. - Marietta, OH  45750 | www.buckeyehills.org

Misty Casto: Executive Director
Rick Hindman: Assistant Executive Director
Jennifer Westfall: Aging Director
Dawn Weber, LSW, LNHA: Home Care Director 

Buckeye Hills Regional Council is organized as a voluntary organization of local government political subdivisions to foster cooperative efforts in regional planning, and implementing of regional plans and programs.