Friday, January 14, 2011

OC Freeholder press release re. senior services

Jan. 13, 2011

PROGRAMS RANGING from meals-on-wheels to caregivers services will continue to be provided by the Ocean County Department of Senior Services in 2011.

"Our seniors deserve these comprehensive and diverse services to ensure that they can enjoy the best possible quality of life," said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari.

Services including outreach to the homebound elderly, volunteer friendly visitors, telephone reassurances, health screening and education are all included in the contracts scheduled to be approved by the Board during its January 19 meeting.

The 36 competitive contracts total more than $2.3 million.
The Meals-on-Wheels and Congregate meal programs are expected to deliver more than 317,600 meals to senior citizens in the New Year, Vicari said.

The nutrition program awards to Community Services, Inc. were approved earlier and the Kosher Home Delivered Meals are among the contracts up for approval on January 19.

"These meals are often a lifeline for the frail and disabled, bringing not only nutritional value but also social contact," Vicari said. "About 60% of home delivered meals clients are at high nutritional risk."

Other contracts include transportation, legal services, caregiver services, care management, benefits screening, chore services and a host of others.

"More than a quarter of Ocean County's population is over the age of 60, including more than 75,000 people aged 75 and older," Vicari said. "Providing beneficial programs and services for the older adult population continues to be a priority for the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders."

The Office of Senior Services serves as a clearinghouse, teaming up seniors with programs that can help make a difference in their daily lives, Vicari said.

The office will oversee a total of 52 contracts with 22 governmental and non-profit agencies in 2011 totaling over $5.3 million.

This year, 536,411 units of service will be provided to 35,379 persons.

Access to information and assistance is a major focus for the Office of Senior Services, said D. Jane Maloney, director of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services.

"Our seniors need to know they can come to us and we can match them up with the appropriate services," Maloney said. "Over 12,000 individuals called or visited us in 2010 and our Outreach sites plan to provide this assistance to over 18,000 individuals in 2011."

For further information regarding services call Office of Senior Services at 732-929-2091 or 1-800-668-4899.

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