Jan. 2017
Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 Welcomes New Director 

The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 welcomes Jennifer Westfall as its new Director.

She previously served as the Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Guernsey County, and was formerly a Human Service Program Consultant for the Ohio Department of Mental Health. 

She holds a Bachelor's in Health Science in Community Health and is currently working on her Master's in Public Health. She resides in Summerfield, Ohio, with her husband and son.

Updated AAA8 Program Quick Reference Guides for 2017 Available

The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 supports independence, choice and dignity -- and strives to bring choice to home and community-based care. A 2017 program overview with eligibility guidelines is now available.

Great for discharge planners, social workers and home health agencies, the resource provides a quick guide to identify programs and services that enable older adults and those with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities. Order printed copies by calling, 1-800-331-2644 ext. 2340.

 Click Here to download the guide. 

Nominate an Outstanding Older Ohioan for the Ohio
Senior Citizens Hall of Fame 

The Ohio Department of Aging is seeking the public's help to identify outstanding older neighbors who have made, and continue to make, a lasting difference in their professions, their vocations and their communities, and who serve as role models for other generations to continue to grow, thrive and contribute. Individuals and organizations interested in nominating someone for the 2017 Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame may visit  for more information and to access the nomination form.

"Inductees to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame very often are ordinary people who do extraordinary things in their communities or careers," said Stephanie M. Loucka, director of the department. "Their accomplishments represent a lifetime of hard work, dedication, ingenuity, kindness and compassion. They not only deserve to be recognized for their contributions, but they also should be lifted up as examples for the rest of us to strive to emulate."

Past inductees have included business and industry leaders, advocates, community planners, educators, scientists, health care professionals, volunteers, artists, athletes and more. Nominees are evaluated on the scope and impact of their contributions begun or continued after age 60. In addition to being age 60 and older, nominees must be native-born Ohioans or residents of the state for at least 10 years. Posthumous nominations are accepted.
Induction is held each May as the state and nation celebrate Older Americans Month. Those selected for the Hall of Fame will join more than 450 older Ohioans inducted into the hall since its inception in 1978. While nominations are accepted year-round, nominations must be received by January 31, 2017, to be considered for induction in 2017.
Learn more, access the nomination form and view past inductees at
Help Seniors Understand SNAP Options

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp program) is an important benefit for lower income older adults and people with disabilities, who often live on fixed budgets that can force them to make difficult trade-offs that affect their health.

Over 4 million older Americans use SNAP to buy healthy food, and the average senior receives $110 each month! Despite the importance of the program for seniors' health and economic well-being, people over 60 have the lowest SNAP take-up rate of all demographic groups. Only 42% of eligible seniors age 60 or older were enroll SNAP in 2014. This is much lower than the total SNAP participation rate of 83%. 
$128 - The median SNAP benefit for households with an elderly 
person in 2015 ($108 for all living alone)
19.5% of elderly SNAP households received the minimum 
benefit in 2015 ($16 per month in 2015)
20% - Proportion of all SNAP households with at least one person
age 60 or older
1.3 - average size of a SNAP household with at least one person 
age 60 or older in 2015

To help seniors apply, go to: Benefits Check Up

Source: NCOA

Caregiver Corner:
This Winter, You Can Help Combat
Isolation &
Loneliness in Elders
An estimated one in five adults over age 50 - at least 8 million - are affected by isolation.

We need social connection to thrive - no matter our age - but recent research shows that the negative health consequences of chronic isolation and loneliness may be especially harmful for older adults. 

"Isolation can be especially hard during Ohio's winter months when elders tend to stay at home more due to poor weather," said Dawn Weber, LSW, LNHA, AAA8 Home Care Director. "If we all just take a few minutes and think of those in our families or communities and make a phone call or stop by for a visit it could make a big difference."

Consider the facts: 
  • About 29% of people age 65-plus live alone and twice as many women live alone as men.
  • Almost 50% of older women age 75+ live alone.
  • Older adults who describe themselves as lonely have a
    59% greater risk of functional decline and a 45% greater
    risk of death.
Source: Eldercare Locator / n4a
The Importance of Vaccines for Older Adults
Vaccine-preventable diseases cause significant illness, hospitalization, pain, disability, and death in the U.S.; and older adults are disproportionately impacted. For example, more than 50% of annual flu-related hospitalizations, and 90% of annual flu deaths are in people ages 65+. And, around 50% of the more than one million annual cases of shingles in the U.S. are in people ages 60+.
Learn more by downloading a resource from n4a: 

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Discount - Are You Eligible?
Assisting eligible individuals with Medicare prescription benefits is a service the Area Agency on Aging District 8 (AAA8) provides through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) grant from the Ohio Department of Aging. This project provides outreach to and enrollment assistance for individuals who may be eligible for the Low-Income Subsidy and/or Medicare Savings Program, as well as other Medicare premium assistance programs.
Low Income Subsidy (LIS) or "Extra Help" is a discount plan that can: lower your prescription co-pays; cover all or part of your Medicare Part D monthly premiums; or eliminate the "doughnut hole" of coverage for your medications. Part D is Medicare's prescription drug coverage and is available to anyone eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B. Those with Medicare may enroll in Part D coverage through either a stand-alone plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. To be eligible for "Extra Help," income guidelines and qualifications must be met, and the AAA8 can help determine whether you might be able to benefit from this program, and if so, assist you with the application process.
"In rural Appalachia, all too often we hear about senior citizens living on fixed incomes who cannot afford medications or other health care needs," said Outreach Director Jill McCartney. "The Medicare Extra Help Program can save individuals an average of $325 per month on costs associated with prescription drugs. Many are eligible and just don't take advantage of these real savings. It takes one simple phone call to see if you're eligible."
If you would like to find out if you are eligible for "extra help" with your Medicare Part D coverage, call AAA8 toll-free at 1-800-331-2644 and we can complete the application over the phone in just a few minutes. Download a Medicare Savings brochure at In addition, we can also assist you with any other Medicare questions you might have. Or, if your community group or agency has an event coming up that you would like us to participate in to provide more information, please let us know - you can reach us at 1-800-331-2644.
2017 Older Americans Month Theme Set 
Age Out Loud

The Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, is pleased to announce the theme for Older American's Month 2017. The theme, Age Out Loud, is intended to give aging a new voice-one that reflects what today's older adults have to say about aging.
The 2017 theme gives us an opportunity to shine a light on many important issues and trends. More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities. They're taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. They expect to continue to live their lives to the fullest, and they're insisting on changes that make that possible. What it means to age has changed, and OAM 2017 is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.

In May, AoA and ACL will amplify the many voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues across the country. Join us as we speak up and out loud for OAM!
Home Energy Help Get Help with Heating Bills:
Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program

As the nights grow colder, home heating assistance is available for elders with low or modest incomes.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency's Office of Community Assistance. It is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating.
If you are eligible for assistance, the amount of your one-time HEAP benefit will depend on:
1) federal funding levels,
2) how many people live with you,
3) total household income ($20,790 max income for single households, or $28,035 for couples), 
4) and the primary fuel you use to heat your home.
In most cases, the one-time benefit will be a credit applied to your energy bill by your utility company (or fuel vendor). The one-time benefit is typically credited in January depending on when an individual applies for assistance.

Thermostat How to apply:  
Applications are available online  and through a number of community organizations, including Community Action Agencies and the Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 (AAA8). Applications may be submitted anytime from now through June 30.

"Contact our office for more details on this and other programs that may assist seniors or those with disabilities," said Rick Hindman, Buckeye Hills Asst. Executive Director & Acting AAA8 Director. "Our staff is available to help seniors understand eligibility requirements and complete benefit applications - especially for those who are homebound."

Older adults and people with disabilities who wish to apply for the program should call one of the Community Action Agency partners below, depending on the county where they live:
  • Athens, Hocking & Perry: HAPCAP at 1-800-686-1093
  • Meigs: Gallia-Meigs CAP at 1-800-282-0880
  • Monroe & Noble: GMN at 740-472-0828 or 740-732-2388
  • Washington and Morgan: Washington-Morgan CAP at 740-373-3745
For more information about HEAP, call the Ohio Development Services Agency at 1-800-282-0880 or 1-800-686-1557 (TDD line for hearing impaired clients).
In This Issue
Refer Someone to AAA8!
Know someone who needs support caring for a loved one?
Refer a friend, family member, caregiver or patient!

Click here for the AAA8 Referral form
or call AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644. AAA8 can help you help the ones you love.     

AAA8 is a program of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District. 
Serving Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry & Washington Counties

AAA8 Staff Resources:
Executive Director: Misty Casto [740-376-1034]
Asst. Exec. Director: Rick Hindman [740-376-1029]
AAA8 Director: Jennifer Wesfall [740-376-1038]  
Home Care Director: Dawn Weber, LSW, LNHA [740-376-1041] 
Programs Manager: Cathy Ash, LSW [740-376-7622]
Communications Director: Gwynn Stewart [740-376-1030]
Ombudsman Director: Kim Flanigan [740-376-7650]
Fiscal Director: Denise Keyes [740-376-7644]
Outreach & Development Director: Jill McCartney [740-376-7668]
IT Director: Jamie Lewis, CNA/MCSA [740-376-1024]

PLEASE NOTE: Mailing Address is 1400 Pike St. Marietta, OH  45750  1-800-331-2644