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Luncheon brings leaders together

Sharon Hartwig, owner of Close to Home III in Ironton, explains the benefits of assisted living during the a luncheon at Ohio University Southern’s Proctorville Center.

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce hosted the monthly 4th Friday Luncheon Friday, bringing together many representatives from businesses across the county.

Ohio Rep. John Carey and Sen. David Daniels attended and spoke briefly on work they are trying to do to bring jobs to Ohio.

The luncheon features a business each month, and January focused on Close to Home III in Ironton and the Ohio Council on Aging.

Sharon Hartwig, owner of Close to Home, spoke about her business and the people best suited for their services. Close to Home is an assisted living facility, designed to care for people who can no longer live independently. She explained the difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities, stating that assisted living facilities are generally private units and more upscale, but also offer similar care as a nursing home.

Hartwig spoke about the financial hurdles for people seeking assisted living facilities and how to receive help in that area.

Becky Simon, from Ohio Council on Aging, spoke specifically on waiver programs to help financially. She said the agency will go to a person’s house anywhere in Ohio to do an assessment to see if they could benefit and would qualify for assistance.

“The need is so great,” Simon said.

Learning more about levels of care a person needs is something everyone can benefit from.

“Some of us will be making those decisions for our parents, or our children will be making those decisions for us,” said Doug Korstanje, Chamber president.