Buckeye Hills Regional Council - Aging & Disability
Monthly News
& Updates:
 Dec. 2017
Athens JFS Receives Partner Award

Congratulations to Athens County Job & Family Services (JFS) office on receiving a Partnership Award for their efforts with the Buckeye Hills $ponsor a $enior program. The effort takes seniors off of the waiting list for Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program coupons to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Partnership Award was presented at the annual meeting of the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Shown receiving the award is Scott Zielinski, Executive Director.

O'Neill Center Gets a New Roof
In the heart of downtown Marietta, Ohio, residents gather at the O'Neill multi-purpose center. They come for meals, activities, classes, arts and entertainment and more. Caregivers rely on the center to care for loved ones through its adult day program. It's one of over 10,000 centers that serve more than one million older adults every day across America.
With support from a $24,200 grant from the Governor's Office of Appalachia, the O'Neill Center replaced its aging roof that's been there almost 40 years since the facility's construction.
"Senior centers like O'Neill are community gateways that provide helpful resources to older adults that can help them stay healthy and independent. But they also serve the entire community with information on aging, support for caregivers, and developments of innovative approaches to issues on aging," said Jennifer Westfall, Buckeye Hills' Aging & Disability Division Director. "We are so pleased O'Neill secured support to enhance the facility. This is another great investment in improving Appalachia's health and its future."
Ohio's population of 65+ residents is growing dramatically, especially in Washington County. Westfall added that O'Neill has been a leader developing new programs and opportunities for a new, dynamic generation of older adults. The mission of the nationally accredited multi-purpose center is to help seniors be HIP: Healthy, Independent and Productive.
"Thanks to this award the O'Neill Center will be able to continue providing senior services for generations to come in our community," said Hillary Foster, Development Coordinator for the O'Neill Center. Learn more about O'Neill.
Buckeye Hills serves as the local development district for the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia. 
Photo courtesy of O'Neill Center
New Medicare Savings Brochure Available

Many older and disabled Ohioans are struggling to pay their out-of-pocket Medicare costs (premiums, deductibles, co-payments and drug costs). "Extra Help" is available for those of limited means.

Buckeye Hills has certified Information & Assistance staff that can assist you with information related to Medicare open enrollment and Extra Help; call 1-800-331-2644, today!

They can also help you see if you qualify to SAVE an average of $3,900 on your prescription drug costs - kno wn as "Extra Help" or Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs). Learn more 
Volunteer Advocates Needed!
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Advocates
for Residents in Long-Term Care
Volunteer Ombudsmen provide an essential voice for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, the Buckeye Hills Regional Council and its Long-Term Care Ombudsman program have a wonderful opportunity. Volunteer advocates offer encouragement and support and help residents understand their rights and resolve problems. They also often lessen isolation and loneliness many residents may experience.
"Our volunteers create their own schedules, receive specialized and on-going training as well as professional Agency staff support and recognition at annual events," said Kim Flanigan, Ombudsman Program Director. "We have such a large, rural region and we couldn't do all that we do across eight counties without our dedicated volunteers," added Flanigan. "Last year, they provided nearly 355 hours of volunteer service."
Ombudsman Associates are volunteer advocates who provide a voice for the concerns of long-term care consumers who are living in their own homes, nursing homes or assisted living. Volunteers are one of the most valued resources of the regional program. In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, volunteers observe conditions and care and inform residents about their rights. For consumers who choose to receive care in their own homes, volunteers talk to consumers about their caregivers and services they receive.
If you are a professional, retired, or are interested in being an advocate for residents in long-term care settings, please call 1-800-331-2644 with questions or to learn more.  The Ombudsman Program serves consumers of long-term care services, including the residents living in nursing homes, county homes, adult care facilities, residential care facilities, for home care consumers and other interested parties in the eight-county area.  To learn more, call the Ombudsman Program at 1-800-331-2644 or visit www.buckeyehills.org/long-term-care-ombudsman.
Caregiver Corner

Tips for Coping with Holiday Anxiety

The holidays are right around the corner, and our partners at Mental health and Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties are sharing several tips developed by the Mayo Clinic to help individuals deal with holiday-related stress and depression:
  • Don't do the same old thing. Feeling overwhelmed by hosting the holiday dinner? Change things up! Suggest other options, like having someone else host this year or going to a restaurant.
  • Don't expect miracles. Sometimes anxiety stems from a history or family conflict. Don't pin your happy time on resolving all of the problems of the past in one day. Focus on your own happiness during the day and tackle the family issues at another time.
  • Don't worry about how things should be. We can sometimes compare ourselves to those Norman Rockwell images of the perfect Thanksgiving. But most times, it's not perfect. Things can happen. Don't deny your negative feelings if they happen. It's OK to feel it.
For other coping tips, visit the Mayo Clinic website. Curious about signs of anxiety? If you or someone you know needs to find coping tools for anxiety, call Ohio's toll-free information and help line at 1.877.275.6365. You can also use the Crisis Text Line by messaging "4hope" to 741 741.  
Buckeye Hills' Caregiver Advocacy program offers support to informal caregivers who are providing care for loved ones at home. We have a variety of resources and services available. Call 1-800-331-2644, today!   
Source: Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services 
Worried About Winter Heating Bills? HEAP Can Help!

As temperatures fall and heating bills increase, for seniors or those with disabilities who also have low or modest incomes, Ohio's Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can help. It is a support to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the costs of home heating.

If you are eligible for assistance, the amount of your one-time HEAP benefit will depend on:
  1. federal funding levels,
  2. how many people live with you,
  3. total household income ($21,105 max income for single households, or $28,420 for couples), 
  4. and the primary fuel you use to heat your home.
In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company (or fuel vendor). The one-time benefit is typically credited in January depending on when an individual applies for assistance.

How to apply:

Applications may be submitted any time from now through June 30, 2018.They are available online and through a number of community organizations, including Community Action Agencies and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). Buckeye Hills Regional Council has applications and can help with explaining eligibility requirements.

Older adults and people with disabilities who wish to apply for the program should call one of the Community Action organizations below, depending on where they live:

Athens, Hocking & Perry: HAPCAP
Meigs: Gallia-Meigs CAP
Monroe & Noble:

740-472-0828 or 740-732-2388
Washington & Morgan CAP
Dates to Note:
  • Dec. 1: Executive Committee Meeting & Luncheon
  • Dec. 8: Regional Advisory Council Christmas Luncheon
  • Dec. 25: (Offices Closed)
  • Jan. 1: (Offices Closed)
As we celebrate the holidays, we look forward to a new year in 2018 and the kick-off of our 50th Anniversary Celebration! Thank you for being a partner with us serving the Buckeye Hills region.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council

 740-373-6400 | 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.
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