We attended the November board meeting and we were quite impressed with the commitment of the Board Members to the Seniors in Lake County. This is a dedicated group of individuals, doing meaningful work in the community and deserve our support.
From their 2016 Annual Report we got the following:
Mission: The Lake County Council on Aging provides aging adults and their support system with services and opportunities that enable them to achieve an optimal, self-defined, quality of life.
Since 1970, they have provided social work services, information and services, Meals on Wheels, senior cafe lunch, homemaker services, in-home safety modifications, benefits assistance and volunteer programs. They also partner with Lake Health to provide the Geriatric Aging and Disability Resource Center, providing assistance and counseling services for seniors and those 18 and over with disabilities.
Their 2016 revenue total $1,796,656 with $1,491,993 (63.72%) coming from the Senior Levy. Without the Senior Levy they could not exist in their current format.
One of their major programs is the “Meals on Wheels” – home delivery of meals to seniors. In 2016, they spent $652,741 to deliver 148,261 meals. (That is a cost of about $4.40 per meal, but they said that they expect those cost to go to about $4.95 per meal). They were very appreciative of the hundreds of volunteers that also make this much needed service possible.
Other statistics that you should be aware of: By the year 2030, it is estimated that approximately 34% of the Lake County population will be seniors over 60, and with 13.7% of the current Lake County population living at or near the poverty level, and probably not decreasing, it means that the needs of the Council’s services are going to be increasing, thereby putting an increased strain on their budget.
The next ten years are going to be very interesting for Lake County. The needs of the aging population will have to be met, but at the same time the County will need to be restructured to keep our younger generations interested in remaining in the County. Coupled with the need to attract an educated workforce to the County, entice thriving businesses into the County, and at the same time maintain reasonable real estate taxes; it is going to be quite a challenge.