Many people across Ohio have voiced their opinion that more needs to be done to protect Ohio’s growing elderly population from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. However, there is no single solution to all of the state’s elder care needs. As a result, the Ohio state legislature has set aside millions of dollars to fund grants for county projects that are aimed at improving elder care.
Ohio Elder Care Aid
As the number of seniors in Ohio has grown, the state support for this section of the population has declined, until now. The annual allocation for elder care services across the state has been around $500,000, and almost half of the state’s 88 counties have received less than $3,000 per year. Last year, the state legislators set aside $10 million in one-time money to strengthen elder care programs.
Around $3 million was awarded to 64 different counties across the state, and about half of the funds were divided among 22 counties aimed at creating partnerships to test “big leap” programs. These programs will address elder care services in new and creative ways. Many counties plan on working with existing community partners on prevention and intervention services for seniors suspected of being abused, exploited, or neglected.
Specific Elder Care Projects
Proposals for “big leap” programs include working closer with police and medical professionals, creating emergency respite and shelter beds, and providing more county-wide preventative services to head off major crises. Morgan County was granted $100,000 of the elder care aid and is using part of it to buy a 4-wheel drive vehicle that can get to seniors in crisis or those who cannot get out of their homes to receive services.
Franklin County’s proposal was accepted for aid to help create the county’s new guardianship-services board. It will work to ensure that the county’s elderly residents are not exploited, abused, or neglected by their caretakers. In addition, smaller “capacity building” grants were given to counties to help their existing elder care services meet the new statewide standards.
The state is also using about $2.6 million to create a statewide hotline number, a data collection system, and a curriculum and training program for all caseworkers in the state by July 2016. Some counties are directing their money towards funding more employment for healthcare workers to help their senior residents, such as geriatricians, nurse practitioners, and mental health professionals.
Raising Public Awareness
Almost all of the counties in Ohio receiving aid want to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation as well as how to recognize it. Last year, a total of 13,608 reports of possible senior abuse and neglect were made across the state, and that number does not take into account the thousands of cases of elder abuse that go unreported every year. Still, county officials are happy that the state legislators are recognizing that elder care is an important issue in Ohio.
Our Office Can Help
The Law Office of John C. Grundy has been representing clients with elder care needs in the Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, and Summit counties for years and can represent your legal needs, too. Call the office or contact us today for a private and free review of your elder law needs.