Voters asked to support senior levy


United Scioto Senior Activities Inc., is asking the voters of Scioto County to support a replacement levy, on the Tuesday, March 15 ballot. The levy has been in place for a number of years and is used to fund senior activities and programs of the organization.

“It is a five-year levy and all of the money goes towards providing services for older adults here in the (Scioto) county,” said Renee Ellis, executive director of United Scioto Senior Actives Inc., “We use the money to help with adult daycare, transportation and other center programs.”

United Scioto Senior Activities Inc., operates a center at 117-119 Market Street in Portsmouth. The organization uses the center as the base of operations and activities.

The Senior Citizen Levy was first approved by Scioto County Voters in 1986 and has not asked for an increase in funding.

“This is a replacement levy, it would just update (the levy) to current property values,” Ellis said.

She said the levy will typically bring in about $100,000. If the replacement levy would pass an estimated $20,000 extra generated.

Ellis said the adult day care is one of their most popular programs.

“If someone has an elderly parent or family members who have any kind of dementia or Alzheimer’s or physical disability, this is a respite program for the families. The family can drop them off for the day and most of the time, we have money to cover that,” Ellis said.

If someone is brought to the daycare that lives outside of Scioto County, they would have pay for the services. Scioto County residents can use the program for free because of the levy.

“They (adult day care) employees keep them (consumers) engaged from the time they get there,” Ellis said.

She said the adult day care has lots of volunteers that come to the center. Some volunteers will play music and there is an art program through the Alzheimer’s Association.

“I’ve been able to see firsthand how meaningful it (adult day care) is to a caregiver,” Ellis said.

She said her father was a part of the adult day-care program. That was her mother’s only opportunity to not be locked in her house taking care of her fathers.

“He had very advanced Alzheimer’s and she was basically locked in the house with him because he had wondered a couple times. Until you experience that firsthand, you cannot imagine what a toll it takes on the family and the caregiver,” Ellis said.

Through that experience, Ellis was able to see the value of the adult day-care program.

“We’re lucky to have this in our county because the numbers are rising with dementia and Alzheimer’s. A lot of counties are not able to offer this program to their residents,” Ellis said.

Through community action, a meal program is provided to center participants.

“We work in partnership with community action, senior-nutrition program. They provide the meals and they provide the space. We provide van pickup, to get people here for lunch,” Ellis said.

One of the other programs offered include van transportation.

“Right now we offer a van service for people 60 and over. The service is available in Portsmouth every day. We have limited (van services) the days we can go out into the rural areas of our county,” Ellis said.

Through the van service, participants of the program are taken to doctor appointments or to Kroger’s. She said the service will take the seniors where ever they need to go including beauty shops and barbers.

She said there is still plenty of room for more participants of their programs.

“We would love to increase our numbers, we’re here and folks need to take advantage,” Ellis said.

She said the existing programs keep the staff busy, but they would like to be busier.

“It’s (Senior Citizen Levy) a good value and in most cases it only costs the equivalent of a couple of coffees a year,” Ellis said. “We’re trying to help (elderly)people stay in their homes and not have to go into an assisted living or long term care facility.”

Ellis invites anyone and everyone to come to the center to check out the programs offered.

For more information about United Scioto Senior Actives Inc., and the services they offer, call them at 740-354-6672.

By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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