Issue 9: Seniors depend on your support for essential servicesWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
The Senior Levy is asking for one of the lowest dollar amounts of all the levies in the county. For under $20 a year, you can help seniors stay independent.
Did you know that you helped provide 323,000 meals, 105,000 hours of home care, 45,000 transportation trips and 16,000 hours of Alzheimer’s adult day care for Lucas County seniors last year? Not bad for your investment of under $20 a year (for the owner of a $100,000 home) in the Senior Citizens Services and Programs Levy.
Without your continued support of the Senior Levy on Nov. 4, these desperately needed services for your aging loved ones and neighbors will be severely reduced. Evelyn Sullivan is one of the seniors who receives services funded by the levy. She said, “Getting the food I need is my goal. Since I am blind and was told it is not safe for me to cook, if it weren’t for the home-delivered meals I receive, I wouldn’t be able to eat.”
This reduction of services would not only impact the tens of thousands of seniors who directly receive services, but also those sons and daughters who indirectly benefit from the Levy services that supplement the care they are able to provide to their aging parents.
If the Senior Levy were to fail, many family caregivers would be forced to make the difficult decision of either quitting their day job to become a full-time unpaid family caregiver for their parent or putting their parent in a nursing home.
Like most Lucas County families, we have done some budget belt-tightening of our own by already having cut senior service program budgets by 15 to 20 percent due to federal, state and local funding changes. These cuts combined with the fact that the senior population has increased by 11 percent since the Senior Levy was last passed five years ago, makes the need to Vote For Issue 9 now more important than ever before.
To keep seniors fine, vote for Issue 9.
Billie Johnson is president and CEO of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio.