CASS Remains Committed to OTR Senior Center
CASS is committed to operating a senior center in Over-the-Rhine once it’s safe again.
Dan Driehaus, Chair of the CASS Board, and Tracey Collins, Chief Executive Officer of CASS, recently reaffirmed our commitment to the senior center.
“We know the importance of the OTR Senior Center in keeping older adults happy and healthy,” Collins said. “The OTR Senior Center is a top priority of CASS. But during the pandemic, an even higher priority is preventing the people we serve and our staff from getting COVID-19.”
The Senior Center has been closed since March to prevent the spread of the virus. In September, the State of Ohio authorized senior centers to reopen. But like many senior centers in Greater Cincinnati, we have not yet reopened the OTR Senior Center because of the significant challenges in meeting health safety requirements.
The state Health Department’s conditions for reopening senior centers are extensive, requiring additional staff and supplies and a substantial reduction in participants. If we were to reopen the Senior Center, we would find it difficult to meet the guidelines because of our limited staff and space.
Driehaus and Collins said CASS is exploring other places in OTR where, with limited funding, CASS could efficiently operate a senior center. In 2018, CASS announced it was closing the Senior Center due to funding problems, but emergency funding approved by Cincinnati City Council kept it open.
In the future, CASS hopes to avoid such emergencies.
“The long-term financial sustainability of the OTR Senior Center is crucial,” Driehaus said. “We think that by partnering with other organizations we could achieve the goal of operating a senior center in Over-the-Rhine for many years.”
Click here for more information about the OTR Senior Center.
Anderson Congregate Meal Site is Open
One of our CASS congregate meal sites is open — Anderson Township. The others are closed due to the pandemic. Please check our Congregate Meal web page from time to time for the status of our eight congregate meal sites or call us at 513-721-4330.
CASS Buses Will Take Fewer Seniors to Grocery Stores
Cincinnati Area Senior Services is continuing to take seniors to grocery stores by bus, but we’ve reduced the number of passengers we can accommodate due to updated guidance from the Ohio Department of Health.
The Health Department has informed CASS that we need to enforce social distancing of at least six feet on our buses. That means we can only transport five seniors per trip.
We’re now strongly encouraging seniors to use our free bus services every other week, instead of every week. Seniors are required to wear masks on our buses as well as in stores.
The new passenger limit includes our Kroger Shuttle, which serves the Walnut Hills area. CASS runs a bus from the former Kroger location on Gilbert Avenue to the new Kroger store in Clifton. The free service, which is paid for by Kroger, runs in a continuous loop every Wednesday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.
Our transportation services are designed for people age 60 and older who do not drive and have no other transportation resources available
We are exploring an additional option to help seniors get access to fresh food, specifically online shopping combined with home delivery. We’re working with a partner so that, when this service is available, seniors with access to a computer would be able order online and get home delivery. Seniors can call our transportation office at 513-721-4330 to let us know if they are interested.
We have temporarily discontinued our bus trips for social, cultural or recreational purposes, except for trips to Cincinnati Recreation Centers and Bayley Adult Day Center.
Click here for more information about our transportation services or call us at 513-721-4330.
CASS Needs Your Contributions Now
During the coronavirus pandemic, CASS is on the front lines in keeping older adults healthy. We’re the first responders for homebound seniors – and we need financial help now more than ever. Please consider an emergency investment in CASS to help us make it through this once-in-a-lifetime crisis. Please go to www.cassdelivers.org/support
How Seniors Can Request a Home-Delivered Meal
Seniors who are homebound or concerned about leaving their homes to shop for food can request home-delivered meals by calling the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio at 513-721-1025 and requesting “CASS meals.” All seniors are eligible for meals, but some might be charged a fee depending on their income.
CASS is doing no-contact deliveries for home-bound seniors who are COVID positive.
CASS is Looking Out for Seniors and Our Employees
Some other health safety steps we’re taking:
- Performing a daily health assessment on our employees and providing them with masks and gloves.
- Disinfecting our vehicles after each trip.
- Eliminating any requirements that put people at risk from being too close, such as asking seniors to sign for food deliveries.
- Communicating via online video conference tools with clients who use our Senior Care Coordination, Personal Financial Management and Building Coordinators programs.
For More Information:
If you need to speak to us for any reason, please call CASS at 513-721-4330 or send us an email using the Contact Form on our Contact page. We’re doing our best to keep up with the calls and emails.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided information about the Coronavirus here.
Page updated Dec. 24, 2020