TRENTON, N.J.—May is Older Americans Month, a great time to bring attention to the issues that affect older adults and highlight the many programs Mercer County has in place to enhance the lives of older adults.
“We are lucky in Mercer County to have such a wealth of programs for our elder population, from recreation programs at our parks and libraries to assistance for senior citizens who are in need of greater care,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “I urge our diverse senior population to reach out to the Mercer County Office on Aging to discover our array of offerings or ask about ways they can volunteer to help their peers in need.”
The Mercer County Office on Aging staff and the Council on Aging maintain involvement in many activities, services and programs for older adults in Mercer County. Some of these include participation in: Commission on Aging at Mercer County Community College; Mercer County Coalition for Coordinated Transportation; New Jersey Foundation on Aging Senior Executive Committee; Elder Economic Security Index Steering Committee; and New Jersey Area Agency on Aging Association Advisory Council Committee.
All residents of Mercer County 60 years old and older and their caregivers are eligible for services, however emphasis is placed on the Older American’s Act provision to serve those seniors of greatest social and economic need.
Funds administered through the Office on Aging provide for essential social health, and support services for Mercer County’s older adults and caregivers. Services funded by the Office on Aging include: Adult Protective Services, Assisted Transportation, Caregiver Assistance and Support Programs, Care Management, Certified Home Health Aide, Certified, Home Health Care, Congregate Nutrition, Emergency Response Systems, Friendly Visiting, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Housekeeping, Information Assistance/Outreach and Care Management, Kosher Nutrition, Legal Services and Prevention Education, Nutrition Counseling and Education. Respite Care, Safe Housing and Transportation, Senior, Mental Health Intervention and Caregiver Support, Socialization and Recreation Services, Summer Cooling, Telephone Reassurance, Transportation, Weekday and Weekend Home Delivered Meals, Information, Assistance, Outreach and Care Management.
The Mercer County Office on Aging also provides services to seniors, their families, caregivers and the community-at-large through its Information, Assistance (I&A), Outreach and Care Management Program. Care Management services provided by the Office on Aging includes an extended assessment, the development of a care plan, benefits screening, and coordination of services for qualified individuals. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the I&A Program, the Office on Aging has joined with other New Jersey counties in implementing the Easy Access Single Entry (EASE) Program. The Office On Aging’s EASE Program is designed so that anyone seeking information and access to services for senior citizens can receive assistance by calling the Mercer County Office on Aging NJ EASE toll free line at 1-877-222-3737 or by visiting one of 11 I & A Community Access Sites:
- Bernice Muha Senior Center
- City of Trenton Office on Aging
- East Windsor Senior Center
- Ewing Senior Center
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Ewing
- Lawrence Township Senior Center
- Mercer County Board of Social Services, Trenton
- Mercer Street Friends, Trenton
- Princeton Senior Resource Center
- Washington Township Senior Center
- West Windsor Senior Center
The Mercer County Office on Aging also publishes and distributes The Link, the newsletter of the Office on Aging. The Link is produced quarterly and carries articles of timely information on entitlements, programs, events and legislation of concern to seniors. A comprehensive Directory of Services for Mercer County Older Adults which lists an index of current services and agencies providing services to seniors and their families is also updated and distributed by this office.
Especially during these difficult economic times, many local senior citizens report that their retirement savings have become exhausted. Seniors who have fallen on hard times do not have to go hungry. The Mercer County Nutrition Project for the Elderly provides a comprehensive, multi-purpose program to Mercer seniors. This program centers around 12 nutrition sites serving nutritionally balanced meals Monday through Friday at noon. The program serves senior citizens who are 60 years of age or over and their younger spouses. The suggested donation for a meal remains at $1 for participants. All contributions are strictly voluntary and confidential. For information, call the Office at 989-6650. Transportation is available to many of our sites by the County’s TRADE shuttle service. Call the Nutrition Office for information on door-to-door transportation.
And if you are struggling to pay your energy bill, or are in need of an air conditioner as summer approaches, the Office on Aging can direct you to available resources through the Medi-Cool program.
Upcoming events for seniors at Mercer County Connection, Route 33 at Paxson Avenue, Hamilton, include:
HUMAN SERVICES REPRESENTATIVE - Thursday, May 14 from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
A representative from the Mercer County Department of Human Services will provide information on the various services offered by the department. Services include Office on Aging, Division of Public Health and Office of Disability Services.
FREE LEGAL SERVICES FOR SENIORS 60+ - June 3 and first Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m.-noon. Mercer County Legal Services for the Elderly offers advice and/or provides representation in non-fee-generating civil matters. Pre-screening is required and you must have an appointment to meet with a representative. Please call 609-695-6249, ext. 2411 for your appointment.
CONSUMER AFFAIRS REPRESENTATIVE - Friday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Unfortunately, many older adults are the victims of identity theft, scams and age discrimination. If you are an older adult, learn about all the risks that target you. If you are a friend to an older adult, learn how you can close the generation gap and stop discrimination.
“WELCOME TO MEDICARE” June 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Reservation required: 609-890-9800
“AGING IN PLACE,” June 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m. A discussion about home care and long-term care options. Reservation required: (609) 890-9800
SHIP, State Health Insurance Assistance Program, provides free help to NJ Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about their health insurance. Call 609-924-2098 ext. 14 for a Wednesday appointment or (609) 890-9800 for a Friday appointment.