COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Aging announced Tuesday it has received a $1.7 million federal grant to strengthen services that support the health, safety, and independence of older Ohioans challenged by the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
The grant, issued under the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will help the department and the state’s 12 area agencies on aging to:
• Rapidly assess the needs of older adults, available services, and the workforce available to deliver those services;
• Enhance accessibility — including virtual access — of services across Ohio; and
• Fight social isolation by connecting with older adults and referring them to available services.
“This grant will improve our ability to provide needed resources to Ohio’s seniors during this pandemic,” said Gov. Mike DeWine.
“As we take on this public health emergency, I am deeply grateful for this federal grant and for the continued commitment of Ohio’s aging network to older Ohioans,” Director of the Ohio Department of Aging Ursel McElroy said. “Their dedication and agility allowed us to secure this federal funding quickly and help many of our older friends and neighbors across the state.”
In announcing the grant, Lance Robertson, assistant secretary for aging with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, praised the state’s efforts to take care of older Ohioans.
“As we know, our older adult populations are finding themselves in uncharted waters — having to navigate new challenges created by the COVID-19 emergency,” Robertson said. “We greatly appreciate Ohio’s application and your dedicated focus to strengthening services that help your older citizens remain healthy, safe, and independent in their homes and communities.”
The Department of Aging will use the funding to bolster the assistance area agencies on aging provide to older adults throughout the state. This grant opportunity will enable Ohio’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers to add capacity, which may include extended hours of operation, cultivate a richer pool of providers and resources from which to draw, and increase capacity to directly support older Ohioans who may be asking for help for the first time.
Anyone wanting to learn about available assistance for themselves or a loved one can contact 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the agency serving their community, or visit www.aging.ohio.gov/findservices to look up agency contact information.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.