Other Services

Aging in Place Home Assessments

Living independently during our golden years can be an enjoyable and rewarding time of life.  As an older adult, you can maintain your dignity, quality of life, and independence while living at home as long as your living needs are met so you are safe, healthy, and happy.  The Council on Aging can help you do this with our Aging in Place Home Assessment Program.

Aging in Place simply means to be able to remain in your own home as you get older and your needs and abilities change.  By making some simple home modifications, you can live more comfortably and safely, so you can move freely about your home and continue your everyday activities.

An Aging in Place Home Assessment is conducted by the Council on Aging’s Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).  The assessment is focused on safety, accessibility, and fall prevention.  The entrance, kitchen, and bathroom are primary areas of concentration, although other areas are also assessed.  During the home assessment, our CAPS will be looking at things such as flooring, lighting, counter height, faucets, height of the toilet, ability to enter the shower/tub, lighting at entrance ways, hand rails, chair height, use of throw rugs, client medications that may cause light-headedness or dizziness, how the client goes about completing their daily activities, and so much more.  Once the home assessment is complete, our CAPS will write a report outlining his/her recommendations on ways to improve safety, accessibility, and functionality in the home.  This report will be shared and reviewed with the client.  In many situations, making a few minor home modifications will increase safety, usability of the home, and independence.

The next step of the home assessment process is to coordinate simple home modifications with the Council on Aging chore workers (if the clients wishes to do so). The Council on Aging chore workers can help with simple modifications such as:  install handrails and grab bars, build simple wheelchair ramps, provide outside seasonal needs such as pull weeds, trim shrubs, wash windows, etc., and other miscellaneous minor home repairs that fall within their skill level.  The chore workers provide the labor, but any supplies needed are the responsibility of the client.  There is no charge for chore services, but donations are graciously accepted and encouraged to help support the program.

The Council on Aging outreach worker will also work with the client to see if any small durable medical equipment is needed from the Council’s Loan Closet or through another local medical equipment provider.

What is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist?  A Certified Aging in Place Specialist helps people who want to make their homes a home for a lifetime.  CAPS professionals have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically enriching, barrier free environments.  For the older adult population, this may mean the difference between being able to stay in their home or moving in with family, assisted living or nursing home.  But please know, that the Council on Aging is here to provide recommendations only.  Any decisions on updates or living arrangements are completely up to the client.

If you would like more information on the Aging in Place Home Assessment Program, please call Mary Maas at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760.

The Aging in Place Home Assessment Program is brought to you through a local partnership between the Putnam County Council on Aging and the Putnam County Health Department.  This program is made possible through the Putnam County Health Department Public Health Workforce Grant; Funded through the Ohio Department of Health and the Federal Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response:  Public Health Crisis Response.

Telephone Reassurance and Friendly Visitor Program

Maintaining social relationship can become more difficult as we age.  To insure continued well-being of older adults who isolated or homebound, our professional staff and volunteers provide regular telephone calls and/or home visits to help older adults stay connected in their community and engaged in meaningful relationships.  Both of these programs are designed as a “check on a client’s well-being”, as well as providing companionship and conversation.  A pre-arranged telephone call and/or home visit is scheduled with the client.  If the client can not be contacted, emergency contacts will be notified, an outreach worker will go to the home, or the appropriate medical personnel will be contacted to conduct a wellness check.  If you or a loved one is interested in this program, please call the Council on Aging at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760 for more information.

The Telephone Reassurance and Friendly Visitor Program would not be possible without dedicated and compassionate volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering for these two programs, please call the Council on Aging at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760.

A Matter of Balance Fall Prevention Program

The Matter of Balance Program (MOB) is an award-winning program designed to help older adults manage falls and increase activity levels.  The program is a free eight week program.  It is held once a week for eight consecutive weeks.  Each session is two hours.  The MOB participants will learn to view falls as something they can control, set goals and increase activity levels, make changes to reduce fall risks at home and exercise to increase strength and balance.

A Matter of Balance is for you if:

  • You are concerned about falls.
  • You want to improve your balance, strength and flexibility.
  • You have fallen in the past.
  • You don’t do things you used to enjoy because you fear falling.

For more information or to register for a Matter of Balance class, please contact the Putnam County Council on Aging at 419-523-4121.

Medical Equipment Loan Closet

Has a hospital stay, recent injury, or just coming of age as a senior presented a need for small durable medical equipment?  If so, the Council on Aging has a Medical Equipment Loan Closet with an assortment of new and used durable medical equipment on hand to lend to those in need for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months.  Items available to loan (depending on availability) include:

  • Canes
  • Walkers
  • Raised Toilet Seats
  • Shower Chairs and Transfer Benches
  • Stationary Commodes
  • Wheelchairs and Transport Chairs
  • And so much more.

To arrange to borrow an item from the Loan Closet, please call the Outreach Specialist at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760.  The Outreach Specialist will assess your need and see if the needed equipment is available, fill out paperwork which includes a release of liability, and arrange for pick up of the medical equipment.  Please note, that in order to loan equipment to others, there is a 6-month loan period on most items and a 6-week loan period for wheelchairs.  If you need an item longer, please contact the Council on Aging to request an extension of the loan.

When you are finished with the equipment, please clean and disinfect it prior to returning.  All items can be returned to the Council on Aging at 1425 E. 4th Street, Ottawa, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Please include the client’s name when returning the item so the return can be documented.  There is no charge for borrowing items from the Loan Closet, but donations are graciously accepted and encouraged to help support the program and to keep the equipment in good working order.

Do You Have Medical Equipment to Donate?

The Council on Aging relies on generous donations from our community to keep our Loan Closet full.  Our supply of items constantly changes depending on the needs of older adults as well as donations received.  If you have an item to donate, please call us and describe your item.  We can take most small medical equipment, as long as it is in good repair.  All donated items will be inspected to insure they are in good working order before being accepted for the Loan Closet.  The Council on Aging will be happy to provide a letter of receipt for donated equipment, if requested.

The Council on Aging can only accept SMALL medical equipment.  Here are some examples of items we can NOT accept:

  • No hospital beds
  • Now power wheelchairs/scooters
  • No Hoyer lifts
  • No lift chairs
  • No medical supplies such as oxygen tubing, masks, wound care supplies, orthotics, braces, etc.
  • No clothing or bedding
  • No cloth items.

If you have a specific question about an item you would like to donate and are unsure if we will accept it, please contact us at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760.

Educational Workshops and Special Events

Our professional staff are available to speak to community groups on agency services and on other subjects of interest to inform, enlighten, and inspire older adults.  Examples of topics include:  agency services, aging in place, fall prevention, Medicare, etc.  Through partnerships and collaboration with other organizations, our staff also offer educational workshops and community events that benefit older adults, family and caregivers.  Examples of some of our collaborative events and workshops include:

  • Putnam County Senior Expo
  • Fall Prevention Awareness Day
  • Shred-A-Thon in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
  • Senior Day at the Putnam County Fair
  • Senior Citizen’s Day Celebration in honor of Older American’s Month
  • Other miscellaneous workshops on topics such as:  Scams, Social Isolation and Loneliness, Disaster Preparedness, Alzheimer’s, Wills and Trusts, etc.

For more information, please call the Council on Aging at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760.

“We Thrive Together” Virtual Programs

The Council on Aging partners with “We Thrive Together” to offer virtual programs to Putnam County older adults.  This is a great way to talk, laugh, play, sweat, and connect from the comfort of home.  Virtual programming includes:

  • Games
  • Cards
  • Exercise Classes
  • Virtual Trips
  • Trivia
  • And so much more.

For more information on “We Thrive Together”, please visit:  www.WeThriveTogether.org to learn more.  You can also call our Outreach Specialist at 419-523-4121 or toll-free 1-877-796-1760.