There are more senior citizens living in Ocean County than in any other part of the state. In an effort to deliver services to that growing segment of the population, the Ocean County Board of Freeholders is tapping into a host of agencies and organizations, from volunteers to healthcare providers, who play a vital role in keeping seniors active, independent, happy and healthy.

Contracts totaling $200,000 are expected to be awarded by the Freeholders at next Wednesday's meeting.

Agencies expected to receive the funds and the amounts include:

  • Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey's Northeastern Expansion - $25,00
  • Central, Western, Northern Caregivers - $50,000
  • Multicultural outreach - $20,000
  • Interfaith Health and Support Services of Ocean County - $25,000.
  • Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford - $20,000 for health screenings
  • Community Medical Center in Toms River - $20,000 for its Lighthouse Program
  • Kimball Medical Center - $20,000 for health screenings
  • Meridian Hospital - $20,000 for health screenings

Freeholder Joe Vicari, who serves as the chairman of the Ocean County Office Of Senior Services, says "it's very important for Ocean County and the entire senior population. More than 10,150 older adults will be served by the programs we are offering. The contracts will provide the residents in need with more than services and programs but a friendly ear and helping hand. The social interactions that come with these services free of charge can mean a world of difference to them."

Many of the seniors live alone and are in need of care. Some can't actually leave the house. That's where many of these programs can come in and be a benefit. Among the services provided by the interfaith and caregiver agencies are volunteer medical transportation, friendly visits, assisting the elderly with errands and shopping and more.

Residents can call (732) 929-2091 or toll-free 1-877-222-3737 for information on available services and programs.