def # 5 01/10/12
COUNTY SENIOR SERVICES RECEIVES HIGH MARKS FROM STATE
TOMS RIVER - The Ocean County Office of Senior Services received the highest marks possible in a recent
assessment done by the state of New Jersey.
"I couldn’t be more pleased with the results of this assessment," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman
of Senior Services. "The findings by the state just confirms that Ocean County delivers the best services possible to
our senior population."
According to the state Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Aging and Community Services, the
Ocean County Office of Senior Services scored 80 out of a possible 80 meeting all the standards in the Area Agency on
Aging performance standards tool.
"The Ocean County Office of Senior Services scored in the green, the highest tier," wrote Nancy E. Day, Acting
Assistant Commissioner for the state Department of Health and Senior Services. "The Ocean County Office of Senior
Services is commended for its dedication and service to seniors, their caregivers and other consumers in Ocean
Vicari said that Ocean County continues to have the largest percentage of seniors of any county in the state and ranks
high in the nation. Ocean County’s population of 65 plus is 21 percent compared to New Jersey’s, which is 13.5 percent.
Florida is the number one state for residents 65 and over with 17.5 percent. The segment growing the fastest in Ocean
County is those seniors who are 85 years old and older, he said.
"Each year Ocean County meets the growing demands of an aging population," Vicari said. "From our nutrition
sites to home delivered meals to the outreach we do.
"However, as this population increases there is also a growing concern on how to continue to fund these
programs with the current economy and many budgetary constraints," Vicari said. "I am hopeful the state will recognize
the needs of Ocean County and will help with additional funding in the New Year."
He added that the funding formula for Older Americans Act programs is expected to be updated shortly to address the
2010 census data.
"With the changes in census data I am cautiously optimistic that adequate funding will address the increased aging
population of Ocean County," Vicari said.
Vicari noted the Board of Freeholders recently approved six contracts for Community Services Inc. totaling $2,541,116
for programs including congregate meals, home delivered meals, social support services and chronic disease self
Under the contracts, Community Services, Inc. plans to provide 66,610 congregate meals and 193,042 home delivered
meals in 2012. In addition to the meals, 11,032 units of nutrition education/nutrition counseling will be provided by
a registered dietician to both congregate and home delivered meals participants.
"The nutrition counseling component is very important to our seniors," Vicari said. "Shut-ins and some of the elderly
citizens often neglect their nutritional needs. We
attempt to educate and remind them about the importance of eating right. Good nutrition, proper exercise and
socialization are vital to a long and healthy life."
Community Services, Inc. also plans to provide over 43,300 social support services such as Outreach, Benefits
Screening, Transportation, Language Translation and others. And, Community Services, Inc. is expected to provide 600
units of "Take Control of Your Health" an evidenced based chronic disease self-management program.
"Whether it is our efforts to help our older adults enroll in Medicare programs, inform them on safety programs like
how not to be a victim of a scam, or to deliver programs and services that help them remain independent, we go above
and beyond in Ocean County," Vicari said.
Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little noted that Ocean County continues to be a great place to retire as evidenced by
the growing senior population.
"There are almost 100 adult communities in Ocean County," he said. "All of our programs and services provide a host of
benefits to our older adults. From our caring and professional staff at the Ocean County Office of Senior Services to
the assistance provided by the large and compassionate senior services network, the elderly in Ocean County are in