Ocean County Approving Contracts To Aid Seniors

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  OCEAN COUNTY – Dozens of contracts to provide services to aid seniors are being approved by the Ocean County Board of Commissioners

  “If a senior in Ocean County needs food, we provide it, if they need outreach services, we can help, if they need legal assistance, we are there for them,” Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H. Vicari said. He is the chairman of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. “Ocean County does all it can to make sure our seniors continue to live independently in their homes.”

  He added that with the largest senior population in the state, close to 200,000, “it’s imperative that our senior programs and services deliver positive results.”

  A significant contract is $3.4 million for Community Services Inc. to provide hundreds of thousands of home delivered meals, in addition to congregate meal services, weekend and holiday home delivered meals, social services support and evidence based health programs for the elderly.

  Vicari said, “the home delivered meals and the congregate meals programs are truly the centerpiece of our senior programs.”

  Maria LaFace, Director of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services said that changes to the senior meals programs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic assured the elderly living in Ocean County that someone would be delivering a meal to them – which also provided a wellness check – when others could not.

  “During the pandemic we closed down congregate meal sites in order to minimize the spread of the virus. We however made sure that those seniors received a meal at their home if they decided to receive it,” Vicari added.

  The congregate meal sites slowly began to reopen during 2022, he said. It amounted to almost 10,000 meals in Stafford Township, Waretown and with modified access in Brick and Jackson. Ocean County anticipates almost 324,000 meals to be home delivered this year.

  Other providers getting contracts for senior services, in particular social support services and family caregiver support are Manchester Township, $115,000;  Toms River Senior Center, $115,000; Long Beach Island Community Center, $225,000; Visiting Homemaker Service of Ocean County Inc., $319,882; Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton – Fix It Program, $69,000, and $94,713, social support services; Jewish Federation of Ocean County, $43,000; Brick Township, $165,500 including congregate meals; Preferred Behavioral Health of New Jersey, $120,000; Lakewood Community Services Corp., which also provides home delivered meals and social support services, $939,866; Community Health Law, $130,366; Southern Ocean Medical Center, $15,000; Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey, $180,484; Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, $65,000; and Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity, $79,293; Community Medical Center Foundation, $40,000; Interfaith Health and Support Services of Southern Ocean County Inc., $41,117; Plumsted Township, $10,000; Jackson Township, $17,700; Point Pleasant, $30,990; Compass 82 Inc., $100,000; Ocean Township, including congregate meals site, $107,845; Stockton University, $21,295; Inspire NJ including congregate meal services, $102,200; and the Ocean County Board of Social Services, $735,453, including funding for senior assisted transportation services, safe housing and transportation services, adult protective services, comprehensive care management services and caregiver support.

  Vicari encouraged seniors or their caregivers to contact the Ocean County Office of Senior Services at 732-929-2091 to determine what programs and services may be available.