Seniors residing within Boone County are well-supported through a number of quality programs and services designed with their needs in mind.
BOONE COUNTY SENIOR SERVICES
Boone County Senior Services, Inc., (BCSSI) wants senior citizens to lead meaningful, healthy lives in Boone County. Through the many services and programs provided by BCSSI, Boone County senior citizens are able to do that and more. BCSSI staff and volunteers provide for the emotional, social and physical well-being of residents over the age of 60. It is funded by United Way, donations from Boone County businesses and individuals, municipal and local governments, Social Service Block Grants, and Title III funding through CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions.
The variety of programs offered through BCSSI include the Guardianship Program, which provides assistance to those in need of help when it comes to financial matters and coping with life’s issues; Health Screening Clinics; a Home Health Program; a Homemaker Service; and Senior Transportation and Senior Van Trips. BCSSI is also the only complete resource center about community senior services in the area. “We’re a one-stop shop,” says Sue Ritz, Executive Director of BCSSI. “If we don’t have the answer, we are knowledgeable to refer someone else.”
The hard work, unwavering dedication and time provided by innumerous volunteers have made the programs and services of BCSSI possible. Through short-term and long-term opportunities, volunteers have made a significant impact in the senior community of Boone County. Among the ways to get involved are through the Friendly Visitor Program, where volunteers make regular in-home or nursing home visits to offer companionship and support to those who are alone; taking on office positions including Office Assistant and Receptionist or the handyman position, which requires the volunteer to perform minor household repairs at the agency, office or homes of senior citizens; and participation in various fundraising and community events such as the “Day of Caring” event.
The organization looks at the big picture and provides assistance to everyone involved with senior living. “We have a huge impact on the community,” says Ritz. “Boomers are turning 60 and are more active than ever. We give out information to cope with being a caregiver and make sure people aren’t burned out. Central Indiana is very lucky to have senior services that are so involved in people’s lives.”
SENIOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Many residents in Boone County, and beyond, have to give strong consideration on how to get around town for such tasks as doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping. In the hopes of relieving the need for public transportation on the local levels, especially for senior citizens, Boone County established the Boone Area Transit System (BATS).
Those in need of a ride begin by planning around a week in advance by setting up an appointment through the BATS office. “If they need to go the doctor, hair dresser, dentist, grocer, whatever they need to do, they get on the schedule,” explains Cindy Elliott, Director of Transportation Services at BCSSI. “We wait for them, or if they are in town, we have several vehicles in town every day and we’ll drop them off. They’ll call when they’re ready to leave, and we go back and take them home.”
The cost-effective BATS service operates Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Through the establishment of a service such as this, Boone County has taken steps toward ensuring that people can and do get around, affordably, for their individual needs.
Boone County seniors looking to get out of town for a day, or longer, are provided plenty of opportunities through Top-Notch Tours, a locally based tour operator. Top-Notch Tours offers one- and two-day excursions, including trips to dinner theatres/plays, shopping centers, casinos, ball games, and the horse track, as well as multiple-day outings to destinations such as Florida; Branson, Missouri; New York; Wisconsin; Michigan; and other places around the country. Between 50 and 100 travelers take advantage of these travel options each trip—°©which ranges from seniors to the “younger” guests they invite to come along.
“In many cases, this service allows seniors to visit areas that they would not see on their own,” notes Brenda Bahler, owner of Top-Notch Tours. “Plus, keeping active is important, and traveling as a group adds more fun while meeting new people along the way.”
Boone County’s senior population is well-served through a number of outstanding services and programs, as well as a number of attractive senior-living communities. From independent and assisted living to skilled-nursing care and rehabilitation, local seniors are sure to find the level of care needed for their stage in life.
Zionsville Meadows, an AmericanSenior Communities neighborhood, provides a full continuum of care at its peaceful campus. Charming garden homes provide maintenance-free living for independent residents, while senior apartments offer an excellent option for assisted living. Supplementing the residential options, residents take advantage of the New Energy Wellness Program, designed for active adults aged 50 and better; the Moving Forward Rehabilitation Program; and Auguste’s Cottage Memory Care Center. In addition to independent- and assisted-living services are skilled-nursing services, long-term care, hospice care and respite care.
Nestled in the northwest corner of Indianapolis, minutes from Zionsville, is the beautiful 150-acre campus of Hoosier Village. This full-service retirement community provides residents with a variety of living options, including three-bedroom homes, duplexes and spacious apartments for independent residents and apartments in the Residence Hall for those in need of assisted-living services. An on-site Health Center offers 24/7 comprehensive and skilled-nursing care and rehabilitation services, while such amenities as a bank, a gift shop, a beauty parlor, activity rooms, a library, a fitness center and dining rooms offer unmatched conveniences for residents. Hoosier Village has earned the distinction as the Indianapolis area’s first retirement center to earn national accreditation from the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission, an organization sponsored by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.
In addition to these senior-living communities, Lebanon is home to Memorial Hall Senior Living and the Homewood Health Campus, while nearby Indianapolis offers an even greater selection of quality residential options for seniors.