Sunday, December 18, 2011

OC Freeholder press release: senior services

Senior Services Provides Host of Programs for Seniors

TOMS RIVER – More than just a nutritious meal, Ocean County's home delivered meal program has been providing the elderly with a critical lifeline for decades.

"Today we are preparing to continue these key programs for our elderly population into the New Year," said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, chairman of Senior Services. "With more than 160,000 seniors calling Ocean County home and with our 85 plus population increasing significantly, this program is a vital service to our seniors."

The Board of Freeholders on Dec. 21 is scheduled to approve six contracts for Community Services Inc. totaling $2,541,116 for several programs including congregate meals, home delivered meals, social support services and chronic disease self management.

"Community Services Inc. has done an outstanding job in working with the County in providing for our seniors," Vicari said. "They provide these services with compassion and a true dedication to our aging population."

Under the contracts, Community Services, Inc. plans to provide 66,610 congregate meals in the amount of $782,173 and 193,042 home delivered meals in the amount of $1,250,422 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 in the amount of $478,749 in 2012. And, Community Services, Inc. is expected to provide 600 units of "Take Control of Your Health" an evidenced based chronic disease self management program in the amount of $29,772 in 2012.

"Making certain our seniors receive proper nutrition in addition to having contact with caring individuals is a priority of the Board of Chosen Freeholders," Vicari said. "These programs are a integral part of our senior program network and the action we take today will make certain our elderly residents will be assisted in the New Year."

Vicari noted that the average age for a congregate meals participants is 84-years-old therefore, providing an evidence-based health education program such as the Chronic Disease Self Management Program will help to support individuals in their goal of remaining independent.

"All of these programs and services provide a host of benefits to our older adults in Ocean County," Vicari said. "From our caring and professional staff at the Ocean County Office of Senior Services to the assistance provided by Community Services and the senior services network, the elderly in Ocean County are in good hands."

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