YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County voters approved a senior services levy Tuesday. Mahoning County is the 74th in Ohio to have such funding to provide services to seniors.
Trumbull County passed a similar levy a long time ago and has even renewed it twice. Columbiana County passed its seniors levy in Nov. 2015 and expects to start providing those services in June.
The money fills gaps for seniors who need special services but have limited personal finances or don’t qualify for medicaid assistance.
With the vote, Mahoning became the 74th county in Ohio to have funding providing services to seniors that they need.
“They can’t fix something that breaks in the home, the refrigerator goes, they fall” Former Ohio State Senator Harry Meshel said. “These homeowners put up grab bars things of that sort. They can get that.”
The Area Agency on Aging will outline how the the $4 million generated by the levy each year will be spent, with less than 5% allowed for administration.
“Earlier this year we had about a thousand people waiting for services, different types of services depending on adult day care, personal care, those type of things,” Joe Rossi with the Area Agency on Aging said. “Those needs will grow as the year goes on.”
The Austintown Senior Center got its funding approved for the next five years by voters on Election Night. It has almost 2,000 members from a five-county area, who pay $36 a year so they can exercise and socialize.
“In reality, what we do is delay the need, hopefully, for people to use the services provided by the other levy, which is primarily in-home care, social services, things like that,” Jim Henshaw with the Austintown Senior Center said.
The county’s senior services are all about filling gaps for seniors who them but have limited personal finances or don’t qualify for medicaid assistance.
“A nursing home in our region is $78,000 a year for a semi private room, where through our in-home services, we average about 8,000 a year. That’s a huge savings,” Henshaw said.
Mahoning County will begin planning its program to start in 2017. Columbiana County passed its seniors levy in November and expects to start providing those services in June.
Trumbull County passed a similar levy a long time ago and has even renewed it twice and been providing those services for more than 10 years.