OCEAN COUNTY – Senior programs in the county will be receiving added funds that will allow them to increase their services.
Such services range from home delivered meals to caregiver support for seniors. The county will earmark federal and state funds to help maintain and increase their programs according to Ocean County Commissioner Joseph H. Vicari who serves as chairman of the Office of Senior Services.
“This funding will help bolster some of the programs that are in place that help to keep our seniors living independently,” Vicari said.
He was joined by Maria LaFace, Director of the Ocean County Office of Senior Services during a recent Ocean County Board of Commissioners’ preboard meeting to review how almost $1.4 million will be divided up to support current senior programs.
LaFace said, “we submitted a work plan to the state of New Jersey several months ago providing details on how we anticipate spending the funds to meet priority needs identified post COVID. Since then, we have been working with our advisory council and providers in preparation for distribution of the funds.”
Ocean County anticipates using $442,296 for community support services, $231,553 for congregate nutrition, $440,124 for home delivered meals, $42,077 for preventive health and $135,168 for caregiver support.
Vicari noted that “each of these areas are critical in allowing our seniors to remain independent. We already support these programs for our seniors. This funding will help us maintain and increase the services.”
He added that Ocean County, through its Area Plan Contract with Community Services Inc. delivers more than 1,000 home delivered meals daily to seniors living in Ocean County.
“Recipients are frail, vulnerable and homebound. Additional funding can ensure our seniors do not go hungry. This program serves as a lifeline for many of our elderly as they are not only delivered a daily meal but they have the security of knowing someone will be checking up on them every day as a result of that delivery,” Vicari added.
Ocean County Board of Commissioners Deputy Director Virginia E. Haines noted that as the population ages in Ocean County, there is a greater need for services.