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About Us

Agency History

On January 1, 1974 Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District was designated an Area Agency on Aging by the Ohio Commission on Aging. Funds for aging projects in all eight counties would come from the Older Americans Act. The Older Americans Act charges Area Agencies on Aging with creating a comprehensive and coordinated system of services for Seniors in our Planning and Service Area. Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District was established in 1968 as a regional Planning and Development Organization (RPDO) and is designated as such by the Ohio Department of Development. Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District is a quasi-governmental organization serving Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington Counties.

The Area Agency was very active that first summer and worked with the County Commissioners and interested parties in each of the counties to develop County Councils on Aging to act as a liaison between the Seniors and the AAA. A Regional Advisory Council was formed, primarily from representatives from the County Councils on Aging, and met for the first time in September 1974. The Regional Advisory Council and the County Councils still meet regularly.

As an Area Agency on Aging we have provided planning, advocacy, administrative, and organizational assistance to county commissioners, county councils on aging and others who provide services to the elderly. (The County Councils on Aging assess needs, and inventory resources. The Regional Advisory Council recommends funding priorities. Each County Council elects three representatives to serve on the Regional Advisory Council).

The AAA originally was involved in establishing Senior Centers in as many counties as possible, and in developing services for Seniors, particularly transportation and Information and Referral. Until the mid-1980’s, nutrition services were provided by direct grants from the Ohio Commission on Aging to the local provider, COAD. After the min-1980’s, the nutrition funds were channeled through the AAA, contracting with the local Community Action Agencies.

In the mid 80’s, the senior centers served as focal points for service delivery. Community Action Agencies developed nutrition programs, including regional “meals on wheels”. Senior Centers have grown and developed in a range of services and funding sources. Local, state, and Medicaid funding supplemental to the Older Americans Act have allowed for the expansion of both nutrition services and senior citizens centers. In 1980, Ohio Aging Network focused on long-term care with passage of the Nursing Home Bill of Rights. In conjunction with the Ohio Department of aging in 1981, our AAA developed a Nursing Home Ombudsman program to resolve problems people encountered in nursing facilities. The program now covers board and care homes and home based services.

In 1989, the Ohio Legislature created an initiative to expand community-based service opportunities for persons who otherwise would face nursing home placement. The Legislature allocated $100 million to establish two pilot programs – one urban and one rural – to demonstrate locally designed community-based care systems. This legislative initiative became the OPTIONS for Elders Program, and the Area Agency at Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District became the rural pilot.

OPTIONS for Elders was designed to coordinate and expand the availability of community and home-based long-term care services as an alternative to premature institutionalization. Initial funding included $2.5 million through the Ohio Department of Aging and $400,000 through the Ohio Department of Mental Health.

Even though the Options demonstration had been a success, Ohio’s low financial projections in 1992-93, and a change in administration led to the proposed phase-out of OPTIONS for Elders over a two-year period. The Ohio Department of aging has continued its commitment to current OPTIONS clients through 1997. Since there is no funding for expansion, the AAA started an OPTIONS Coordination program in 1997 that provides short-term meals to serve the elderly while recuperating from the hospital or other short-term needs.

In 1992, the Ohio PASSPORT Program (Pre-Admission Screening System Providing Options and Resources Today) was expanded state wide to include the Area Agency at Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District. This is known as a “waiver program: because Ohio applies for a waiver from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to utilize Medicaid funds to provide services in the community and at home rather than in an institution, such as a nursing home. This state wide coordinated system provides an economical, efficient package of home care services to eligible seniors for 60% of the cost of a nursing home placement.

In 1993, the Ohio Legislature approved a proposal to further expand community care to Ohio’s elderly. The number of PASSPORT clients would be doubled, and the state would begin subsidizing board and care homes and assisted housing.

Community boards of which AAA staff represent the AAA include: the Widowed Persons Board in Washington County, Way-To-Go Transportation Coordination Committee in Washington County, Athens Community Health Council, LINK (Community Council) in Perry County, 55+ (Marietta Memorial Hospital) Advisory Board, elder Rights Committee, Prevention Council, Ethics Committee for Rocksprings & Hickory Creek NF’s in Meigs County, Elder Health Promotion Grant-sponsored by OU-Com Geriatric Center and headed by Suzanne Croci and Barb Pfeifer at CHEAO, Survivors Bank, & Caregiver Support group for Washington County, A.C.C.E.S.S.-Coalition of Health Care providers in Athens and Meigs counties, cancer Concern Coalition in Noble County. Through the A.C.C.E.S.S. coalition mobile mammography units go to the Senior Centers yearly. Information packets about breast and cervical cancer went to all Home Delivered Meals recipients.

In 1999, sixteen nutrition sites were up and running in the AAA’s eight-county region. 77,013 meals were served to 6,751 eligible seniors at congregate meal sites and 129,701 meals were home-delivered to 3,751 homebound seniors. Funding sources for this program include the Older Americans Act, Ohio Senior Community Services Block Grant, and the donations of the senior participants and their families. In addition, clients in the Options program received 82,139 meals, and clients in the PASSPORT program received 5,184 meals. The number of PASSPORT service providers had grown to 70 and were delivering a wide range of services that supported the clients in their own homes.

Also in 1999, the Ohio Department of Aging was in the early stages of instituting a statewide Management Information System to centralize and manage the data of the PASSPORT program. The Area Agency on Aging began the purchase of the equipment and software to support full participation in the MIS redesign. By year’s end 2000, AAA staff had undergone training to help them acclimate to the new Information Technology (IT) environment. The agency’s MIS Coordinator and instructors from a local college conducted classes regarding the fundamentals of a network, the basics of the Windows 98 operating system as well as Microsoft applications conducted programs for the AAA staff. Training for AAA staff is ongoing as new programs and applications are continually being introduced.

2001 was a year of transition bringing many changes to the Area Agency on Aging. These changes strengthened the Agency’s commitment to serving the aging network and older Americans within the PSA 8 district. A training program was established which enabled the AAA to offer trainings in the district for providers as well as professional staff. A Caregiver Advocacy Program was developed allowing the informal caregiver to receive case management services.

In the area of community outreach, construction on the Area Agency on Aging website began and an AAA Newsletter went into development. In addition, multiple informational materials to inform the network of services available through the AAA were developed. A web-based information and referral system was constructed. This I&R System would allow anyone within our district to locate services. The Quality Assurance Department was unified and the AAA sought additional dollars from various funding sources.

The AAA partnered with the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine Community Services Programs to provide a mobile health screening van to seniors in six counties of the eight-county region. The Health Adult Project will provide medical assessments such as screening for breast, cervical, prostate and other cancers. Additional screenings include blood pressure, total cholesterol, and diabetes. Education includes information on nutrition, exercise, substance abuse, and elder abuse. This partnership was funded with Title III-D funds under the Older Americans Act.

In 2012, AAA8 anchored the development of The Southeast Ohio Aging & Disability Resource Network.

Funding sources for the Area Agency on Aging at Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District include Title III of the Older American’s Act, Ohio Department on Aging Block Grant, State funds that match the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions, State funds for Alzheimer’s Respite services, State H.B. 1084 for the construction or renovation of facilities, U.S. Department of Agriculture meal reimbursement. Additionally, we have received funds from the Housing Trust Fund and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Buckeye Hills has also worked under contract with CareStar for the Ohio Home Care Waiver care management services and with the US CMS for Community Care Transitions services.

 

In 2017, Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District became Buckeye Hills Regional Council. The Area Agency on Aging 8 became the Buckeye Hills Regional Council: Aging & Disability program.

 

Copyright © 2017 Area Agency on Aging District 8
A Program of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District