March 2017

Diane agrees that there's no place like home. Through support from Ohio's Home Choice and PASSPORT programs and AAA8, she was able to move home after a long stay in a nursing facility. Shown with Diane is Marsha Melrose, her Interim Home Care aide and Kim Flanigan, her Home Choice Transitions Coordinator from AAA8.

Individuals Transition with Ohio's Home Choice & PASSPORT Programs

On Camelot Drive in southeast Ohio, Diane Murray is happy to be back at her home after spending months in a nursing home. Administered locally through The Home Choice and PASSPORT programs provided Diane with the resources and support to return home.

"Home Choice allowed me to come home and live my life again," said Diane. "Being home is way better than a nursing facility - you can't beat it! I can eat my own food and set my own hours. If it wasn't for this program, I would still be in the nursing home."
As a retiree from Washington State Community College where she spent 25 years as the Executive Assistant to the President, Diane added that if it wasn't for the staff at the Area Agency on Aging 8, she wouldn't have known how to do it on her own. Now back at her home, she enjoys her privacy and the freedom to come and go on her own.
The PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver Program provides in-home services and supports for persons with a nursing home level of care. The AAA8 care managers work with the family, physician and home health workers to customize a care plan that includes home delivered meals, personal care, chore service, emergency response systems, home medical equipment, transportation, and other such services.
"She is doing great at home," said Kim Flanigan, the Transition coordinator and Long-term Care Ombudsman for AAA8. "Diane has great family and neighbor support and she gets along very well with support from the PASSPORT program." PASSPORT services include home and personal care services and transportation through her senior center. Kim was also able to get Diane set up at home through Home Choice and Recovery Requires a Community for some of Diane's necessary durable medical equipment.
"I was pleased to help Diane make the necessary arrangements for her return home that included arranging her enrollment into PASSPORT for supportive services, as well as getting other equipment," said Flanigan.
The average yearly PASSPORT plan cost in the Buckeye Hills region was $13,794.53 (an average monthly plan cost of $1,262.) According to the Administration on Aging, average nursing home costs in our region are $40,841-$43,472 annually. Thanks to the Ohio aging networks' success administering the PASSPORT program, older and disabled adults avoid or delay admission to more expensive and restrictive nursing homes. To learn more about PASSPORT or Home Choice, call AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644 or visit
Facts About PASSPORT: 
  • For 30 years, Ohio's Area Agencies on Aging have administered one of the largest, and the most cost-effective, home and community based Medicaid programs in the nation, called PASSPORT, with consistent customer approval ratings that have reached as high as 99%.
  • From 1995-2011, as a result of PASSPORT, the use of Medicaid-funded nursing homes by Ohioans age 60 and older dropped by 14.5% despite a 15% increase in the aging population.
  • The cost of care in a nursing home is three times the cost of PASSPORT home-based services.
Download a PASSPORT brochure 
March is Social Work Month

Social workers stand up for millions of people every day.
These include people who are
experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, our veterans, children, families and communities.
Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way. They help people increase their ability to solve problems, to cope with stressors and to get needed resources. Social workers bring individuals together with other
people and their communities to find solutions for problems that continue to plague our society, including hunger, lack of affordable housing, and equal rights for all. And social workers make organizations responsible to people through sound social policy.

We thank the Buckeye Hills AAA8 Social Work staff for their hard work and service across the Buckeye Hills region. 

  • Cathy Ash, LSW
  • Kaelly Erb, LSW    
  • Carolyn Ditchendorf, LSW 
  • Veronica Norman, LSW  
  • Angela Schloss, LSW  
  • Jamie Sweeney, LSW  
  • Sarah Swisher, LSW 
  • Steffany VanFleet, LSW 
  • Kara Wright, LSW
  • Dawn Weber, LNHA, LSW 
  • Gerri VanNoy, SWA

Caregiver Corner:

Top 10 Chronic Conditions in Adults 65+ and What You Can do to Prevent or Manage Them

Age, family genetics, and gender make it nearly impossible for older adults to avoid becoming a chronic disease statistic. Eighty percent of adults 65 and older have at least one condition, while 68% have two or more. You probably have a parent or grandparent who is managing a condition right now, or perhaps you are managing one yourself.
With these kinds of odds, you might wonder if there is even anything you can do to prevent the onset of a condition, or make managing an existing condition easier. The answer is yes. Below is a list are ten common chronic conditions adults 65+ on Medicare were treated for and what you should know about each. Click here to learn more.


The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 can help caregivers find services and supports to help with caregiving for those with a chronic condition. Call 1-800-331-2644 or visit and see the Services & Programs section.
Source: National Council on Aging 
Regional Transportation Improvement Plan Meetings to be Hosted in March  
The Buckeye Hills Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), will hold open houses to allow public comment on the region's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). Representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Districts 5 and 10 will also be on hand to discuss the region's 2018-2021 Plan for ODOT programmed projects. Meeting dates will include:
  • CALDWELL: Tuesday, March 7, 4-6 p.m. at the Noble County Community Center, Noble County Fairgrounds, County Rd 56, Caldwell, Ohio  43724 (Representing Monroe, Morgan, Noble, and Washington Counties)
  • LOGAN: Tuesday, March 14, 4-6 p.m. at the Scenic Hills Senior Center, 187 Spring Street, Logan, Ohio  43138 (Representing Hocking and Perry Counties)
  • ATHENS: Thursday, March 16, 4-6 p.m. at the Athens City Recreation Center, 701 E. State Street, Athens, Ohio  45701 (Representing Athens and Meigs Counties)
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a schedule of transportation improvements in the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional transportation planning area (Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry & Washington Counties in southeastern Ohio). The TIP includes improvements to highways, public transit, bikeways, pedestrian facilities, bridges, traffic signals and other aspects of transportation systems.
The public can provide input at the public meetings or to Karen Pawloski, Buckeye Hills Transportation Planning Coordinator up to 45 days from the date of the meeting.  The comment period will remain open through Friday, April 7, 2017.
If you have any questions regarding these meetings, please contact Karen Pawloski at 740-376-7658.
Medicare "Extra Help" 2017  
Some Medicare recipients may be eligible for "Extra Help" with Medicare costs (premiums, co-pays and RX costs).

"Extra Help is a Medicare program to help people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug (Part D) costs as well as premiums and co-pays.

The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 can help those on Medicare determine if they are eligible for "Extra Help." Contact AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644 for more information or to register over the phone. No travel, no waiting, just one phone call!
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