Video from a July broadcast on elder Ohioans on fixed income

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A new program designed to empower Ohioans to thrive as they age was launched Wednesday.

“Ohioans want to live well as they grow older,” said Gov. Mike DeWine during the program’s launch on Nov. 8. “They want to live in their homes, around their family and close friends, while remaining vibrant and active contributors to their communities.”

The new Healthy Aging Grants program will provide $40 million in support of local aging services. These services are focused on supporting Ohioans ages 60 and older stay healthy, live longer, and maintain their independence.

“The local programs strengthened by our new Healthy Aging Grants will make this level of vitality and autonomy possible for more older adults across our state and is key to achieving our vision of making Ohio the best place to age in the nation,” said DeWine.

The grant money was stablished through House Bill 33 and will be administered by Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) to participating counties. Healthy Aging was introduced by the governor in his executive budget proposal and was officially established through the passage of HB33.

Grants are being distributed in every area of the state to fund critical aging supports, such as food and housing assistance, as well as internet access and digital literacy services.

“Healthy Aging will support evidence-based preventive services in the home and community that have been demonstrated to be impactful in allowing Ohioans to age on their own terms, in their preferred environment, and often prevent the need for people to move into institutional care settings,” said Ursel J. McElroy, ODA director.

The funds are designed to be flexible – focusing on local aging programs making the biggest impact in their area. These grants can be used to promote a number of additional services that align with Ohio’s 2023-2026 State Plan on Aging, such as nutrition and physical activity, health insurance enrollment, minor home repairs, caregiver support, transportation, and more.

“The Ohio Department of Aging is proud to lead the way on this pioneering effort to help older Ohioans add not only years to their life, but also life to their years,” said McElroy.

Currently, 85 Ohio counties are participating in the Healthy Aging Grants program. Once applications are approved, each county will receive a base amount of $100,000.

Additional funding can be provided to counties based on the number of residents ages 60 and older who are not enrolled on Medicaid.