A program of Home Instead Senior Care Foundation

VANTAGE Aging

Akron, Ohio

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VANTAGE Aging was incorporated in August, 1975 as Senior Workers' Action Program. The agency has federal IRS 501 c-3 non-profit tax status. Based in Summit County, Ohio, the agency provides a continuum of supportive services to the adult population throughout the state. Services include employment, homecare, integrated mental health, nutrition, and volunteer programs. A majority of program participants are low income adults over the age of 60 years.

Program goals include: to promote the independence and self-sufficiency of individuals through community based assistance, to help older adults avoid premature or inappropriate institutionalization, and to help alleviate the problems of poverty among older adults. Agency programs and services touch the lives of more than 16,000 people each year.

The Home Wellness Solutions program employs Homemakers, Health Aides, and Chore Workers to provide cleaning, laundry, personal care, vital errands, and periodic heavy duty cleaning in the homes of older adults with chronic disabilities. These services are vital to individuals who need assistance to manage on their own. Wellness, prevention, and self-sufficiency are essential components of Home Wellness Solutions. During FY2017, we helped 243 older adults with disabilities to stay independent in their homes. 99% of our service recipients stayed in the community and did not move to a long term care facility. Our Fall Prevention incentive provided wellness education and information to 197 individuals; 73% improved their scores on a fall risk assessment evaluation.

Employment and Training Solutions provides services to job seekers and employers. This program assists older workers to re-enter the job market, trains them for new jobs using updated technology, and assists employers to best utilize the skills and work ethic of older workers. This program provides an opportunity for job readiness by employing participants who worked 692,826 hours in community nonprofits during the past fiscal year. 13,432 individuals used our employment resource rooms to access job information across 38 counties in Ohio

Behavioral Health Solutions is an integrated mental health program providing outpatient services including assessment, individual and group counseling mental health and prevention. Groups and individuals received 5,148 hours of counseling during the past year and 74% of participants report improved functionality as a result of treatment.

The Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Ohio program provides home delivered meals to individuals who are homebound and unable to prepare a meal as well as hot meals at community dining centers 5 days a week to older adults and adults with disabilities. Meals on Wheels delivered 264,878 meals to 7,753 homebound individuals and 31,182 congregate meals at community dining centers during the past fiscal year.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) coordinates opportunities for adults 55 years and older in Summit and Medina Counties to provide meaningful volunteer assignments in response to community needs. Volunteers assigned by RSVP provided 18,245 hour of service to the community.


Testimonials

Alice's Story
Alice is an 84 year old woman who lives alone in a small home. Alice has multiple health conditions including diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. She uses a walker when she leaves her home and has been increasingly unsteady on her feet. Alice has no family except for a son who lives in Nevada who visits once a year. Alice is proud that she can manage most things on her own but admits that her need for help with cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping is increasing. She has lived in her home for many years but most of her neighborhood contacts have moved away. A Homemaker/Home Health Aide from the Home Wellness Solutions program of VANTAGE Aging visits Alice weekly to assist her with house cleaning, laundry, and errands. The Homemaker prepares a hot meal and nutritious snack for Alice. A Case Manager is available to offer supportive assistance if needed. With Home Wellness assistance, Alice is able to remain in her own home in the community where she has lived for so many years.

Mary's Flowers
Mary is a 72 year old widow living in the home she shared with her husband for 40 years. Mary has been experiencing more health problems in recent years. She has severe arthritis and has recently had hip replacement surgery. She now uses a cane and cannot drive anymore. Mary still enjoys her small yard and flowers but she is having trouble keeping up with her housework. She has always kept her house well maintained and will not consider leaving her home, but is bothered that things are beginning "to slip". Home Wellness Solutions completed a fall risk assessment with Mary in her home. Home Wellness Solutions then arranged for the Chore heavy duty cleaning crew to wash walls and windows and move Mary's furniture to make it easier for her to avoid obstacles that could lead to a fall. A Homemaker visits Mary once a week to complete vital errands and ensure that Mary's laundry is done. With the help she receives from Home Wellness Solutions, Mary can continue to enjoy her own home.

Sam
Sam is a 65 year old man who has been unable to walk since a car accident left him partially paralyzed many years ago. He lives in his childhood home which he shared until last month with his mother who recently had a heart attack and died. Sam wants to stay in the house but has difficulty completing routine cleaning and upkeep tasks. Sam called VANTAGE Aging and receives a weekly visit from a Home Wellness assistant who keeps the house clean and completes errands for him. Sam is able to cook for himself and functions well in his familiar surroundings with a little help from his Homemaker. He is able to keep his family home in the neighborhood he knows so well.

Our clients were asked on our 2017 Satisfaction Survey what our service means to them. Following are just a few of their answers.

• "Without help I would be forced to depend on friends and would probably consider nursing home care."

• "It is difficult to maintain things by myself."

• "My vision is poor and I need help to stay at home."

• "Without my aide, I would be totally lost. Tina does a great job!"

• "I would not be able to stay in my home without your help."

• "I am 91 years old and I need help."

• "I am just out of the hospital- the aides are a great help."

• "My home would be really dirty without help."

• "Without help, I would be up the creek! I am on oxygen and may need more service."

• "I can't bend over so I really need help around the house."

• "I would probably be put in a home without your service."

We have a waiting list with over 300 names of older adults who need our service. They all have their own stories but all of them share the desire to stay self-sufficient in their own home environments. For a fraction of the cost of nursing home care, we can help them age in place in their own homes and neighborhoods.

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VANTAGE Aging provides high-quality programs to empower the economic, social, physical, and mental well-being of adults as they age.
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