Since 1967, the Mercer County Office on Aging has been designated as the county Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and serves as the primary advocate, planning and coordinating agency for Mercer County older adults and their caregivers. All residents of Mercer County 60 years of age and older and their caregivers are eligible for services, however emphasis is placed on the Older American’s Act provision to serve those seniors of greatest social and economic need.
In accordance with the Older American’s Act of 1965, as amended, the Office on Aging is also responsible for the development and administration of a comprehensive coordinated social service delivery system.
An Advisory Council, (Mercer County Council on Aging) comprised of representatives from several townships in the county, provides valuable insight regarding the needs of Mercer County older adults, and assists in the planning and development of senior programming. The council members also serve as advocates by participating in public hearings, providing legislative testimony, spearheading major initiatives, assisting in the monitoring of funded projects, and educating the public regarding the interests and needs of Mercer County’s older adults.
Through the development of an Area Plan Contract with the Department of Health and Senior Services, unmet needs, service priorities and implementing strategies are outlined, and funding sources are identified. The Office on Aging in turn subcontracts with community-based service providers according to the priorities set by the Mercer County Area Plan. Federal, State, and Local program funding is allocated from the following sources:
- Older American’s Act Title III Funds
- State of New Jersey Social Service Block Grant Funds
- Senior Initiative Dollars
- Casino Revenue and State Matching Funds
- Local Matching Funds Including County Peer Grouping Dollars
Funds administered through the Office on Aging provide for essential social health, and support services for Mercer County’s older adults and caregivers. Services funded by the Office on Aging include:
- Adult Protective Services
- Assisted Transportation
- Caregiver Assistance and Support Programs
- Care Management
- Certified Home Health Aide
- Certified Home Health Care
- Congregate Nutrition
- Emergency Response Systems
- Friendly Visiting
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Information Assistance/Outreach and Care Management
- Kosher Nutrition
- Legal Services and Prevention Education
- Nutrition Counseling and Education
- Respite Care
- Safe Housing and Transportation
- Senior Mental Health Intervention and Caregiver Support
- Socialization and Recreation Services
- Summer Cooling
- Telephone Reassurance
- Weekday and Weekend Home Delivered Meals
The Mercer County Office on Aging also provides services to seniors, their families, caregivers and the community-at-large through its Information, Assistance (I & A), Outreach and Care Management Program. Care Management services provided by the Office on Aging includes an extended assessment, the development of a care plan, benefits screening, and coordination of services for qualified individuals. The program acts as a clearinghouse for gathering, coordinating and disseminating information regarding programs, entitlements and financial assistance. Staff is available to provide information regarding existing services, and entitlement programs, and provides assistance in completing applications to access these programs.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of the Information & Assistance, Outreach and Care Management Program, the Mercer County Office on Aging has joined with other New Jersey counties in implementing the Easy Access Single Entry (EASE) Program. The Office On Aging’s EASE Program is designed so that anyone seeking information and access to services for senior citizens can receive assistance by calling the Mercer County Office on Aging NJ EASE toll free line at 1-877-222-3737 or by visiting one of eleven I & A Community Access Sites.
Community Access Sites include:
- Hamilton Senior Center
- City of Trenton Office on Aging
- East Windsor Senior Center
- Ewing Senior Center
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Ewing
- Lawrence Township Senior Center
- Mercer County Board of Social Services, Trenton
- Mercer Street Friends, Trenton
- Princeton Senior Resource Center
- Robbinsville Senior Center
- West Windsor Senior Center
Additional outreach services for homebound seniors are provided in Hightstown and East Windsor, while the City of Trenton – Office on Aging provides outreach and care management services to frail/disabled elderly Trenton residents through a grant with the Mercer County Office on Aging.
The Mercer County Office on Aging also publishes and distributes The Link, the official newsletter of the Office on Aging. The Link is produced quarterly and carries articles of timely information on entitlements, programs, events and legislation of concern to seniors. A comprehensive Directory of Services for Mercer County Older Adults which lists an index of current services and agencies providing services to seniors and their families is also updated and distributed by this office. To view a copy of the directory of services, access the link on the office on Aging home page or for complementary copies of the most recent publications distributed by the Office on Aging and/or to access available services and programs please call: 1-877-222-3737.
Senior nutrition services are also provided by the Mercer County Office on Aging, through the Mercer County Nutrition Project for the Elderly. This project provides a comprehensive, multi-purpose program to the Senior Citizens of the county. This program centers around thirteen nutrition sites serving nutritionally balanced meals Monday through Friday at the noon hour. The meals satisfy one-third of the federal recommended adult daily nutritional needs. Monthly menus are posted at each nutrition site, and on the agency’s home page on the Mercer County Web Site Special meals are offered on holidays and festive menus are also incorporated each month. The program serves senior citizens who are 60 years of age or over and their younger spouses. The suggested donation for a meal remains at $1.00 for participants. All contributions are strictly voluntary and confidential.
Other social services are offered through the Nutrition Project, including nutrition screenings and education sessions, as well as health and safety programs designed to assist with and address issues that are relevant to senior citizens.
Join us at one of twelve sites located throughout Mercer County for meals, activities and special events.