def #221 11/10/10
OCEAN COUNTY SENIOR AREA PLAN HEADS TO STATE
TOMS RIVER - From community support to home support, and from nutrition support to caregiver services, Ocean County is ready to submit its 2011
Senior Area Plan Contract Update to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services for program funding.
"This is a major funding source for programs affecting Ocean County seniors," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of Senior Services. "This
funding, which totals $4,056,988, helps us to provide the essential programs and services that help keep our seniors healthy and independent and also
provides help to their caregivers.
"It is often a lifeline for our aging population in Ocean County," Vicari said.
The 2011 Senior Area Plan Update includes 52 programs with 22 service providers from throughout the county. The programs are funded through federal,
state and county funds totaling more than $6 million. A break down of the funding sources includes 45 percent from the federal government, 22 percent
from the state and 33 percent from the county.
"Ocean County is unique with its large population of retirees who have moved here from other areas of the state," Vicari said. "Ocean County leads
the way with the highest percentage of households with Social Security income - totaling 43 percent.
"More than 50 percent of the residents accessing the services from the Ocean County Office of Senior Services are 75 and older while 17 percent are
85 and over," Vicari said. "These populations begin to have more and more special needs as they get older."
The staff of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, from Jan. 1 through the end of October 2010, have responded to over 10,000 clients and there
were 6,000 visitors to the officeís website.
"Through our Area Plan Contracts, there were over 460,000 units of service provided to over 33,000 individuals," said Jane Maloney, Director of
Senior Services. "Of those served 2,820 were caregivers and 1,492 of these caregivers were over 60 years of age.
"In addition, there were almost 210,000 home delivered meals during the first 10 months of the year and 56,000 congregate meals served totaling
266,000 meals that were provided so far this year," she said.
Vicari noted the Ocean County Office of Senior Services serves as the focal point where older adults and their families can turn to for information
regarding services and programs. The 2011 Area Plan Contract Update outlines Ocean County's plan for addressing the current and future needs of
seniors living in Ocean County.
Through its 2011 Aging Services Plan, Ocean County again expects to serve over 35,000 individuals with access, home support, community
support, nutrition and caregiver services.
"These are key areas that help our seniors maintain their independence and their quality of life," Vicari said.
Vicari stated that many are familiar with Ocean County's safety network of services for the frail/disabled elderly, however, he said, the
Office of Senior Services also has an important role in assisting the newly arrived older adult in preparing for a healthy future.
"Our Office of Senior Services has a wide array of information and programs to promote healthy aging," he said. "Whether it is one of the
four HealthEASE activities or educational programs to help people prepare for the numerous aspects of Medicare, we try to meet the many needs of our
older adult population."
He noted that there is continued emphasis on the accessibility of services within the aging services plan. "Ocean County has developed a good system
of outreach sites countywide," Vicari said. "These sites provide for trained outreach staff to link older persons with programs; the services are
there, people just need help connecting."
A major emphasis for the Office of Senior Services is to get the word out to the county's residents.
"So far this year, the Office of Senior Services has provided 136 presentations to residents in communities throughout Ocean County," Vicari
said. "Providing good information is essential when outreaching the people who will benefit most from our programs and services. Older adults can get
help from Ocean County. Itís important we let them know how to access it."
More information on senior programs in Ocean County is available by calling the Office of Senior Services at 732-929-2091 or by visiting itís website