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The Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging History of the Ohio Department of Aging

  • 1965 - Congress passed the Older Americans Act, which required all states and U.S. Territories to establish a single state agency to implement and oversee a statewide aging program.
  • 1966 - Ohio established the Division of Administration on Aging within the Department of Mental Hygiene and Corrections.
  • 1967 - The division established Glendale Terrace in Toledo as its first congregate housing for low-income older adults.
  • 1968 - the division opened Worley Terrace in Columbus, the state's second congregate housing site.
  • 1969 - The U.S. Administration on Aging, a federal agency that serves as the national advocate for older persons, was established.
  • 1973 - Governor John J. Gilligan replaced the the Ohio Division of Administration on Aging office with the Ohio Commission on Aging. The first of the state's 12 Area Agencies on Aging were established.
  • 1975 - The Ohio Network of Educational Consultants in the Field of Aging (now known as the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education) was established as the technical advisory body to the Commission on Aging. The first regional long-term care ombudsman programs were established to advocate for the rights of consumers in long-term care facilities.
  • 1976 - The Commission introduced the Golden Buckeye Program, the first public-private partnership in the nation to recruit merchants to offer voluntary discounts to Ohio residents age 65 and older.
  • 1977 - The Commission established the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame to honor outstanding older Ohioans for lifelong achievements.
  • 1978 - Voters in Ross County passed the state's first successful senior services levy.
  • 1979 - The Commission oversaw the opening of the first multipurpose senior center in the state: the Martin Janis Senior Center on the state fair grounds.
  • 1984 - The Ohio Commission on Aging was promoted to a cabinet-level agency and was re-named the Ohio Department of Aging. The director of the agency became the chief advisor to the Governor regarding issues and concerns affecting older Ohioans, and changes in national policy of the federal Administration on Aging.
  • 1985 - The age limit for a Golden Buckeye card was lowered to 60.
  • 1986 - The PASSPORT Program was launched in several counties to provide an alternative to nursing home care for Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • 1990 - The PASSPORT program expanded to serve all 88 counties. The Ohio legislature established the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
  • 1992 - The Ohio Department of Insurance created the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program to provide insurance counseling to older Ohioans.
  • 1993 - The Department of Aging assumed responsibility for the Residential State Supplement. The department developed the Benefits Eligibility Screening Service, a computerized system to help older Ohioans identify government benefits and insurance programs for which they may be eligible.
  • 1994 - The PASSPORT program assumed responsibility for preadmission review for all nursing home applicants, regardless of payment source.
  • 1997 - The department established Care Choice Ohio, a program that provides free assessment and consultation on long-term care to all Ohioans.
  • 1998 - The department launched its website.
  • 1999 - The department, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, launched the Double Jeopardy project to address support issues for families of adult children with developmental disabilities.
  • 2000 - Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act created the National Family Caregiver Support Program.
  • 2001 - Governor Bob Taft created the Ohio Access Task Force to review Ohio's services and support systems for people with disabilities. The Choices Medicaid waiver program was launched. The first Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program was established in ten northwestern counties.
  • 2002 - BenefitsCheckUp.org a national benefits screening website, replaced Ohio's Benefits Eligibility Screening System. Ohio also launched the Long-term Care Consumer Guide website.
  • 2003 - The Golden Buckeye program was expanded to offer discounts on prescription drugs at most Ohio pharmacies. More than two million new Golden Buckeye cards were mailed to eligible Ohioans.
  • 2006 - The department launched the Assisted Living Waiver Program that, for the first time, allows Ohioans on Medicaid to access the services they need in a residential care facility, rather than a nursing home.
  • 2007 - Governor Ted Strickland created the Unified Long-term Care Systems and Supports Workgroup to begin creating a balanced long-term care system based on consumer choice with resulting Medicaid cost savings. The governor also removed income limits from the Homestead Property Tax Exemption, making it possible for all Ohioans age 65 and older to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their homes from property taxes.
  • 2008 - The Unified Long-term Systems and Supports Workgroup submitted 120 unanimous recommendations for system reform. Department services, such as the Golden Buckeye program and the Senior Community Service Employment Program were added to the Ohio Benefit Bank. The Departments of Aging, Insurance and Job and Family Services partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the "Own Your Future" campaign to raise awareness of the need for long-term care planning. The Home First program, which allows Medicaid eligible residents of care facilities to skip waiting lists for home- and community-based care programs, was expanded to include the Assisted Living Waiver Program. Governor Strickland created the Senior Civic Engagement Council to identify ways that older adults' engagement in employment, volunteering and lifelong learning can be enhanced and continue to positively influence our state.
  • 2009 - ODA adopted a single long-term care budget line for home- and community-based programs, making good on one of the key recommendations of the Unified Long-term Systems and Supports Workgroup. The department's Great Depression Story Project gained national media attention and was named "Notable Governement Document" by the Library Journal.
  • 2010 - The Senior Civic Engagement Council submitted 13 recommendations to the governor and general assembly on ways the state can better create and promote employment, educational and volunteer opportunities for older Ohioans. The department launched its page on Facebook. The Unified Long-term Care Systems and Supports workgroup submitted its second set of recommendations to the governor and general assembly.
  • 2011 Ohio raised the bar for quality long-term care through a Medicaid payment policy that rewards nursing facilities for performance on a range of quality incentive measures. Ohio became the first state to expand the Reducing Disabilities in Alzheimer's Disease program statewide.
  • 2012 - The Department of Aging exceeded its two-year goal of training more than 3,000 participants in the HEALTHY U Ohio chronic disease self-management program. The Department of Aging partnered with the Ohio Department of Education to launch a pilot initiative connecting Project MORE with elders in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
  • 2013 - The department launched Steady U Ohio, a first-of-its kind state and community initiative to raise awareness of, and reduce the prevalence of falls among older Ohioans. Regular quality improvement projects became required for Nursing Home licensure, with the Office of the State Long-term Care managing those projects and providing technical support. An improved Long-term Care Consumer Guide was launched.
  • 2014 - The Department of Aging expanded consumer-directed care options statewide by adding them to the PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver and discontinuing the Choices Medicaid waiver. The department supported the roll-out of MyCare Ohio, a new approach to care coordination, in pilot areas of the state. The A Matter of Balance falls prevention program became available in all 88 Ohio counties. The Department of Aging introduced Music & Memory statewide. The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman launched its "Step Up" campaign to recruit volunteers to advocate for home care consumers.
  • 2015 - The Department launched its "Well Beyond 60!" initiative to promote health, wellness and prevention throughout the lifespan and hosted the first "Well Beyond 60!" EXPO at the Ohio State Fair. The HEALTHY U Ohio program joined Facebook to provide health and wellness information and resources to more Ohioans. The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman reached the milestone of 300 Ohio nursing homes participating in the Music & Memory program and a pilot program to make the Music & Memory available to family caregivers in home and community-based settings is launched. The STEADY U Ohio initiative introduced the highly successful "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" public awareness campaign.
  • 2016 - The Department launched its "Aging. It's Everybody's Business." initiative to build on the "Well Beyond 60!" philosophy and engage businesses, communities and others in solutions to unleash the power of our Golden Buckeyes.