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Frequently Asked Questions

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Franklin County Office on Aging

What is Senior Options?

Senior Options is funded by the Senior Services Levy and provides "one-stop shopping" for callers needing information, advocacy, or direct access to a wide range of community-based services.

By dialing (614) 525-6200, residents of Franklin County can access a system of services and information about community and home-based care for frail seniors. Senior Options maintains contracts with companies and agencies that provide personal care, home delivered meals, adult day care, medical transportation, and other services that allow our county's older citizens to live independently in their own homes.

What are adult protective services (APS)?

Adult protective services (APS) are services that prevent, remedy or reduce situations that endanger an older adult. These services are meant to maximize independence and self-direction while preventing unnecessary institutionalization by selecting the least restrictive alternative for intervention.

Per Ohio law, an individual must be 60 years of age or older to receive adult protective services and must be considered a vulnerable older adult. A vulnerable older adult suffers some form of physical or cognitive impairment that prevents them from being completely independent.

APS investigates cases of older adults in the community. There are different agencies that investigate abuse in nursing homes or abuse of developmentally disabled individuals.

What is the Caregiver Support Program?

The Caregiver Support Program supports caregivers of older adults age 60 and older on a short-term basis. The Program can assist with a variety of services, including in-home respite, adult day care, and durable medical equipment.

Caregiving can be challenging, but support is available to make it easier.

What is the CommunityCare Registry?

The CommunityCare Registry (CCR) is designed to connect pre-screened, self-employed homecare workers with those in need of assistance, regardless of age or income level. CCR provides you with access to experienced home care workers whose qualifications, availability, and hourly rates match your needs.

What is the Minor Home Repair Program?

Minor Home Repair strives to minimize the danger of falls and other accidents, enabling older adults to live at hme in safety and independence.

This might mean adding a wheelchair or walker ramp, installing grab bars in the bathroom, or making other minor property repairs.

Where can I find help for my parent who lives in Franklin County?

A single call to Senior Options at (614) 525-6200 can link older adults and their families with a caring professional trained to help solve senior problems.

Where can I find information on volunteer opportunities?

Information on volunteer opportunities in Franklin County can be found at HandsOn Central Ohio in the "Volunteer Opportunities" section of our Senior Citizen Information Handbook.

General Questions

How do I get my handicapped parking sticker?

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles issues placards and license plates for the disabled. Placards and license plates for persons with a disability may be obtained at local Deputy Registrar agencies.

See the Senior Citizen Information Handbook for more information.

How do I get my Golden Buckeye Card?

Golden Buckeye Cards can be obtained through the Ohio Department of Aging.

Where are the senior centers located?

There are many senior citizen recreation centers operating within Franklin County.

A detailed list of these centers can be found on the Senior Citizen Information Handbook.

Where can I find senior citizen dining centers?

LifeCare Alliance has several dining center locations throughout Franklin County.

See the Senior Citizen Information Handbook for more information.

Where can I go for my flu shot?

The best time for a flu shot is between mid-October and mid-November. Contact the LifeCare Alliance flu shot hotline at (614) 278-3141.

Where can I find information on volunteer opportunities?

Information on volunteer opportunities in Franklin County can be found at HandsOn Central Ohio in the "Volunteer Opportunities" section of our Senior Citizen Information Handbook.

Senior Options

How is Franklin County Senior Options funded?

Senior Options is funded by the Senior Services Levy, which has been passed by Franklin County voters every 5 years since 1992.

What are the minimum requirements for enrolling in Senior Options?

Each applicant must
  • be at least 60 years of age
  • be a resident of Franklin County, Ohio.
  • demonstrate a need for service based upon an assessment of her/his ability to do daily tasks. There must be an indication of an unmet or under met need in order for applicant to be enrolled into the program.

How can I enroll in the Senior Options program?

Please call Senior Options at (614) 525-6200. A case manager will be glad to assist you with the enrollment process and help to determine what services would best meet your particular needs.

How can I make a referral to Senior Options?

Referrals can be made by contacting Senior Options at (614) 525-6200.

Social work and healthcare professionals may submit referrals online at https://referrals.officeonaging.org.

I'm not 60 yet. Are services available if I need assistance?

The CommunityCare Registry is a service provided by the Franklin County Office on Aging which links those in need with finding and hiring pre-screened self-employed home care workers who provide various services, including personal care, housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation or caregiver relief.

Why does Senior Options need financial information?

As part of the assessment, applicants are asked to disclose financial information to determine if they will have to pay a percentage of the cost of their services. Applicants may refuse to disclose this information, but services will then be billed at 100% of the cost to the program.

Do I have to own my own home to qualify?

Applicants must reside in a private residence. Persons living in facilities where services are provided as a part of a client fee, or could be purchased from the facility are not eligible for services. This includes residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, etc.

Once enrolled, do I have to "re-qualify"?

Program participants are regularly assessed to determine their ability to do daily tasks. Service needs will be reviewed at this time and may be increased or decreased as appropriate. Financial information is also reviewed annually which may effect eligibility or co-pay requirements.

Can I be denied enrollment in Senior Options?

Enrollment into the program will be denied if:
  • the minimum requirements stated above are not met
  • the applicants income and assets exceed program guidelines
  • the applicant appears to be eligible for services from another funding source such as Ohio's PASSPORT program.

If denied enrollment in Senior Options, can I appeal the decision?

Enrollment decisions can be appealed if the applicant/participant disputes the correctness of information pertaining to his/her circumstances. Any applicant/participant wishing to appeal a decision regarding service denial should contact his/her case manager, either by telephone or in writing, of an intention to appeal.

Adult Protective Services

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is a broad term that refers to any abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an adult age 60 or older.

  • Abuse takes many forms, and includes hitting, pushing or striking an older adult; yelling at or belittling an older adult; and use of unreasonable constraint/confinement. Abuse can be physical, psychological or sexual in nature and most often occurs at the hands of an adult child or other family member.
  • Neglect can be by a caregiver or the hands of the older adult (self-neglect) and involves the failure to provide needed services or items to prevent harm.
  • Finally, exploitation is the act of using an older adult’s resources for the benefit of another and can be financial or material in nature.

Who can make a report of elder abuse?

Anyone can report elder abuse. Ohio law mandates that certain professionals must report elder abuse, including doctors, nurses, lawyers, physical therapists, social workers, law enforcement and emergency response personnel.

Where do I report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly?

In Franklin County, Ohio you can report elder abuse by calling Adult Protective Services at (614) 525-4348, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Professionals and mandated reporters may submit reports online at https://referrals.officeonaging.org.

To make a report outside of Franklin County, visit the Ohio HOPES website at www.ohiohopes.org for local reporting numbers. Outside of Ohio, contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

What information do I need to make a report?

You will need the address or exact whereabouts of the older adult and all information you have about the nature of the abuse. APS will also ask you a series of questions to gather as much information as possible about the situation and the older adult’s needs.

What happens after I make a report?

All reports are reviewed by supervisory staff to ensure they meet the criteria for an investigation.

Once assigned, an investigator has three business days to initiate the investigation which is typically done with a visit to the abused person’s home. An investigation can take up to 30 days to complete and involves speaking with collateral contacts and making multiple visits to see the older adult.

What help is available to victims of elder abuse?

APS works closely with community agencies to ensure the safety of the older adult. These agencies include providers of home-delivered meals, home health services, mental health providers, and law enforcement personnel. APS also works very closely with the courts on matters that require legal intervention.

What happens if an elder abuse victim declines help?

Adults, old and young, have the right to refuse help. APS honors the wishes of those that decline assistance except in situations where the adult very clearly lacks the ability to make this decision.

APS works in conjunction with physicians, mental health professionals and the courts when an adult’s ability to make decisions is in question and abuse is happening.

What are my rights if someone makes a report about me to APS?

You have the right to know the allegations that have been reported and the basis for the concern. Additionally, all APS clients are entitled to have an advocate of their choice present during any interview. Adults are entitled, by law, to a letter explaining that a report has been received and the intent to investigate.

APS works towards honoring the wishes of the older adult while gathering information from other concerned parties, who may not be entitled to the details of the investigation.

What are my rights if I make a report to APS on someone else?

You have the right to make your report anonymously and leave no identifying information. You also have the right to contact APS and provide follow-up information on an open case.

Due to laws of confidentiality, APS may not be able to provide any feedback on the status of an open case. This concerns information on the substantiation status of any allegation.

Service Providers

How do I become a provider with the Franklin County Senior Options Program?

Fill out the Interested Providers Form. A Quality Improvement professional will review your information and add your agency to our " Interested Providers List. ".

Upon initiation of an Invitation to Bid, we will give your contact information to the Franklin County Purchasing department who will notify you via US mail when the contract is available for bid.

Read More...

What are the minimum requirements to become a Senior Options provider?

  • You must demonstrate evidence of a two-year business history as a registered business in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State, and be able to provide supporting documentation such as invoicing, tax records, etc.
  • You must demonstrate evidence of business insurance coverage for two consecutive years.
  • Because Senior Options only contracts with businesses, no independent providers are accepted.

Service Providers who do not meet these requirements are encouraged to consider the CommunityCare Registry Program.

Can I become a provider with Senior Options and still have a contract with PASSPORT, Medicare/Medicaid, VA and private pay?

Yes.

For what services does Senior Options contract?

Senior Options bids the following three contracts:
  • Homecare: Adult day care, Personal Care, Respite, Emergency Response System, Home Delivered Meals, Homemaker Services
  • Transportation: Medical Transportation; Lift (ambulette) or non-lift
  • Central Order: Nutritional supplements, Incontinence products, Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
Read More...

How can I obtain a current set of the rules/regulations for the Senior Options contract?

Our rules and regulations are called Conditions of Participation (COPs) and Service Specifications (SSs). Conditions of Participation are the guidelines every Provider must meet in order to contract with FCSO. Service Specifications state the requirements for each individual service. You can download the current COPs and SSs on this website; however, the COPs and SSs are subject to change for each contract term.

What is the length of a contract term?

The Franklin County Office on Aging determines the term for each individual contract. The length of each contract is fixed and noted in the terms and conditions of each Invitation to Bid packet.

From point of application, how long will it take until I know that I am a provider?

The Franklin County Purchasing Department publishes a timeline in each Invitation to Bid (ITB). You will become a provider after you submit a successful bid and your contract is signed by the Franklin County Commissioners.

How many providers are servicing clients in Senior Options?

The names of our current providers and their rates can be obtained by contacting the Franklin County Purchasing Department at 614-525-3750.