Kettering senior services office moving from longtime Town & Country site

KETTERING — Seniors who use the Kettering Connection will be going to a new site for those services starting later this year.

The city plans to move senior services from Town & Country Shopping Center, its location for at least 20 years, to the Kettering Government Center this summer, Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser said.

The new site will help the city better coordinate senior resources with related services, such as public safety, he said.

The senior services coordinator job “has changed from a model which people came … to get services,” Bergstresser said. “A lot of the work now are referrals we get through the police and fire department for people who need help in their homes.

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“We do a large number of home visits … to assist (people) rather than have them come and see us,” he added. “So that’s a business model that has changed over the years. And we feel like that business model is going to continue in the future.”

Senior services assists residents, their families and caregivers in a variety of ways, Bergstresser said. They range from information and where to find “community services to either help them age in place or if they need food assistance” to Medicare and Medicaid enrollment, he said.

Kettering’s estimated 57,400 residents include nearly as many people 65 or older (18.4%) as it does under 18 (21.4%), according to recent U.S. Census figures. In 2000, 18.3% of the city’s residents were 65 and older while 24.5% were 19 and under, data shows.

The move from about 400 square feet in Town & Country on Stroop Road to the government center on Shroyer Road is expected to cost nearly $89,000 in renovation work and furnishings, city records show.

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Kettering plans to use Community Development Block Grant funds for the renovation, Bergstresser said.

The Town & Country lease expires at the end of May, Bergstresser said. It may be extended a month or so while government center space in the planning and development department is modified, he said.

Senior services coordinator Vickie Carraher is retiring, and the city is in the process of finding a successor, Bergstresser said.

The move will be an adjustment for those who use senior services, Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner said.

“We will do everything we possibly can to make that transition a smooth one — to actually enhance the services that we’re able to provide,” Lehner said.

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