Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

office for the aging

June 4, 2019 - 3:19pm

A new interim director for Genesee County Community Mental Health Services was announced Monday at the Human Services Committee meeting.

Bernadette Bergman, the agency's board president, told committee members that the resignation of Director Ellery Reaves has been accepted and Augusta Welsh will serve as interim director through July 14 while the position is advertised.

If the job cannot be filled within 60–90 days, another interim mental health director from a neighboring county will fill the gap until a permanent director is appointed.

The prospect of sharing the agency's services with another county was also debated.

The committee discussed the possibility of a mental health director serving both Genesee and Erie counties.

Legislator Gordon Dibble noted the agency has not committed to shared services, but it is looking into other counties’ practices and whether a dual-county mental health director position would meet state requirements.

Committee members resolved to keep past experiences with shared services in mind as they continue to explore their options.

Welsh told the committee that Mental Health Services is collaborating with local school districts and nonprofit organizations like GCASA to reduce patients’ treatment costs and unnecessary emergency room visits. It is also seeking additional satellite locations to provide more convenient mental health and chemical dependency appointments to clients.

Welsh said the mandated new jail, once it's built, could serve as a prospective satellite site that could help maximize psychiatry services.

Also on Monday's agenda, Office for the Aging Director Ruth Spink informed the committee of slight increases in the per-unit cost of its ARC of Genesee Orleans home-delivered meals program.

The rate per meal will increase by 30 cents for home-delivered, congregate, cold/sandwich and frozen meals because state and federal funds cannot be used to cover meal preparation expenses.

“ARC is really struggling with continuing this program," Spinks said. "I think we’ve got a commitment to get through the next two years of this, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to continue afterward just because of the increase in food costs and the increased cost in minimum wage.”

In order to prevent the end of the meal service after 10 years of success, the Office of the Aging and ARC will consider the possibility of a cooperative meal-service agreement with community organizations.

Similar to Mental Health Services, the Office for the Aging may partner with the new jail to offset rising food prices and wages of food service workers.

Lastly, the committee was provided an overview of an eight-month program for high school students that teaches leadership skills and good decision making.

City of Batavia Youth Bureau Director Jocelyn Sikorski expressed her satisfaction with the Genesee Youth Lead program and said it has garnered positive response from participants and local school districts as the 2018–19 academic year nears its end.

This community-based leadership development program immerses students in county policymaking and administration. Participants refine their problem-solving and teamwork skills during sessions that focus on a specific topic each time, targeting issues leaders in our county deal with.

These include: agriculture, health and human services, government, law enforcement, tourism, business, emergency preparedness, arts and culture, leadership opportunities, community service, team building, and job-readiness training.

“Great feedback from the kids with every session,” Sikorski said. “We evaluated every session, so we’re looking to gear up for next year. We start recruiting probably in the next week or two, and we’ll recruit all summer and then interview the kids in the fall again.”

The next Human Services Committee meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 15 at the Old Courthouse in Batavia.

March 4, 2019 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in office for the aging, news, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release: 

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $40,000 in federal funding for the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

This grant was awarded through the Senior Corps RSVP from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a program that leverages the skills and experience of seniors from across the country to serve in a variety of volunteering activities.

The Senior Corps RSVP is one of the largest volunteering networks in the nation that engages Americans 55 or older in citizen service to address problems that our country faces. These services can range from fighting the opioid epidemic, connecting veterans to jobs and benefits, and ensuring seniors age dependently and with dignity.  

“ As we get older it is important we keep ourselves active,” Congressman Collins said. “The Senior Corps program is a great way to get involved in our community while helping others.”

The Genesee County Office for the Aging offers a variety of programs and services to all county residents who are the age of 60 and over. Their mission is to provide information, support, and advocacy to their residents while promoting independence to improve the quality of life.

The Senior Corps engages approximately 220,000 Americans at 25,000 locations across the nation through its Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion and RSVP programs.

August 15, 2018 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Le Roy, diabetes, ILGR, office for the aging, health.

Press release:

Genesee County Office for the Aging and Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will be holding a FREE six-week Living Well with Type II Diabetes workshop for the community, beginning on Friday, Sept. 7.

The peer-led health education program complements the health care participants may already be receiving. The purpose of the workshop is to enhance one’s skills and ability to manage one's health and maintain an active and fulfilling lifestyle. 

* Contributions are appreciated but are not required for participation.

The program content includes: decision making and problem-solving skills; developing and maintaining a safe, long-term physical activity program; preventing complications; dealing with anger, depression and difficult emotions; communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals; using prescribed medication appropriately; healthy eating; blood sugar monitoring; skin and foot care; and planning for future health care.

Snacks will be provided.

The workshop takes place at The Greens of Le Roy, 1 West Ave., Le Roy, over six Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; on Sept. 7th, 14th, 21st. 28th, Oct. 5th and 12th. Participants who complete the series will receive a great resource book and a gift card.

For individuals with disabilities or language interpretation needs, requests for reasonable accommodations should be made with at least five days’ notice. Preregistration is required by Sept. 5th. You can receive more information and sign up for the workshop by contacting The Greens of Le Roy at 585-768-2740. 

Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested! 

This program is made possible through funds from the NY State Office for the Aging, NY Connects, the Older Americans Act, the generous support of the Genesee County Legislature, and in partnership with Independent Living of the Genesee Region.

August 1, 2018 - 3:21pm

Press release:

Farmers Market Coupons are still available at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia.

Booklets are available to adults aged 60 years and older who are income-eligible. Proof of age identification must be provided.

Income guidelines are as follows:  household of one $1,872 per month; household of two $2,538 per month; and, household of three $3,204 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, noted, “It still remains, that anyone 60 or older in a household may receive a coupon booklet as long as they are income eligible. This means that in a qualifying household, multiple individuals may receive booklets.

"This program is a wonderful way to help older adults with limited income to purchase healthy fresh produce from our local farmers.”

Questions may be directed to the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 585-343-1611.

June 12, 2018 - 3:57pm

Press release:

Genesee County Office for the Aging will be distributing Farmers’ Market Coupons to income-eligible seniors, 60 years of age and older.

The coupon booklets will be available at 2 Bank St., Batavia, on the following dates/times:

  • 10 a.m. -- 12 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Thursday, July 12 
  • 1 -- 4 p.m. on Monday, July 23
  • 10 a.m. -- 12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25

**Before these dates, if you live in senior housing, a flier will be posted about when the Office for the Aging will be at your location.

Anyone 60 or older in your household can have a coupon booklet; you must still be income eligible and the booklet must be given to each person individually.

Coupons will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, until they are gone.

If you have any questions call please call 343-1611.

  • You must be age 60 or older. Please bring ID.
  • If you reside in public/subsidized housing, you qualify regardless of income, but please bring proof of address.

***  2018 Income Guidelines  ***

Household of 1 = $ 1,872/mo.

Household of 2 = $ 2,538/mo.

Household of 3 = $3,204/mo.

October 26, 2016 - 4:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Stafford, LGBTQ, office for the aging, veterans.

Press release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging is proud to partner with the Rochester Gay Alliance SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) program to bring an event to our County!

The Traveling LGBTQ Potluck & Program will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located at 6188 Main Road in Stafford.

Meet! Greet! Eat!

All are welcome. Meet news friends.

Featured program is "Gay Pioneers."

Bring a dish to pass.

Also, Rochester Gay Alliance SAGE is looking to connect with LGBTQ veterans and people who served in the military regardless of discharge status.

Learn more about what SAGE Vets & ROC Vets can do for you!

Contact: [email protected]

October 14, 2016 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Medicare, office for the aging, news, Announcements, healthcare.

According to a specialist in aging services and Medicare at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, "this year is utter chaos with Medicare Advantage Plans as FIVE out of six companies selling in Genesee County have dropped at least one plan."

"We have been slammed with calls (as many as 43 within hours!) from people seeking guidance on what to do," she says.

So they are holding four Medicare Open Enrollment Vendor fairs during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7) to help people sort through the maze. ​The fairs are provided through grant funds from the NYS Office for the Aging, the Federal Older Americans Act, and generous support of the Genesee County Legislature.

Charts will be available at the vendor fairs (and in the Office for the Aging) comparing ALL available plans for 2017. Reps from local Medicare Advantage Plans and AARP Medigap will be present to help attendees understand the changes for 2017. They can help sign you up if you wish to choose a different plan or company. And Medicare trained/certified counselors from the Office of the Aging will be there to answer questions and offer unbiased assistance.

The fairs are scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Oakfield Community and Government Center, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia
October 6, 2015 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in office for the aging.

Genesee County is woefully unprepared to serve the needs of adults reaching retirement age in middle-income brackets, the director of the Office for the Aging, Ruth Spink, told members of the County Legislature during the Human Service Committee meeting on Monday.

There is retirement housing available for those with low incomes or little savings, and housing available for those in upper-income brackets, but there is nothing available for those who might afford living arrangements that fall between the $700 and $2,000 a month range, Spink said.

If there's really an issue, Legislator Andrew Young asked, isn't that an issue for the free market to address? Shouldn't we just let capitalism do its job?

Spink said she's not suggesting direct government intervention, but the county, through the Office for the Aging, can play a role in raising awareness, alerting potential developers and attracting investment into the county. She suggested the county host workshops and seminars to draw attention to the need.

Legislator Shelly Stein said she's certainly aware of a need in Le Roy. She said about 10 people a year move out of Le Roy and into Bergen Meadows because there is inadequate senior housing available in Le Roy.

Spink said if the county doesn't address the issue and there isn't new development to meet the need, many residents who want middle-income senior housing will leave the county. Three days ago developers imploded the former MIllard Filmore Hospital tower in Buffallo to make way for a new high-density, mixed-use neighborhood. Spink said it is those kinds of developments that local residents might seek out if there aren't alternatives available in Genesee County. 

Then there are the local residents who are maybe a decade or two away from retirement, but aren't planning ahead. They need both the awareness that can be fostered by seminars and the ready housing supply to meet their needs when they retire, Spink said.

"They're thinking, well, I'm not getting old for another 20 or 30 years, but they're not realizing that someone could become ill, could have a car accident, could need hip surgery or knee replacement surgery and they can't navigate in their house, they can't get up the stairs, they're not thinking about that," Spink said. "They're just living in the moment, not thinking ahead."

September 30, 2014 - 4:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in office for the aging.

A graying population in Genesee County and ever-more constricted sources of government funding has the Office for the Aging straining to keep up, but the job is getting done, Director Pam Whitmore told the Human Services Committee on Monday during a department review.

The legislative committee met at the agency's offices on Bank Street for the briefing.

Statistically, about 20 percent of the county's population was age 60 or older in 2010, Whitmore said. Now that percentage is about 25 percent and it's expected to be 30 percent by 2020.

There is an increasing trend, said County Manager Jay Gsell, for people born and raised in Genesee County who moved away for careers and lower taxes to return in their retirement years to be closer to family.

That means even more people wanting to use the services of the Office for the Aging.

A successful program, Whitmore said, is the agency's health insurance counseling service.

In 2013, the program saved all of its clients $2.6 million combined in health insurance premiums by helping find better insurance alternatives. So far this year, the savings is $3 million.

And that's just one year of savings, Whitmore said. The office doesn't calculate what the savings might be over a period of years.

The service is primarily funded through a $32,000 federal grant and supplemented by a $10,000 grant.

For 2015, the funding seems to be in good shape, Whitmore said, but she's more doubtful about 2016 and beyond.

"The program doesn't break the bank, but it does offer a rather huge return on investment," Whitmore said. "We see it helping our local economy by creating more discretionary spending through the money people are saving."

In general, the Office for the Aging is seeing more and more people coming through its doors every day, Whitmore said.

"We're trying to manage that with the staffing we have now in the office," she said. "Our funding is capped, but the number of people who walk through the door is not capped."

There's also growing demand for the meal delivery program and medical transportation.

Home health care is also an area long on demand and short on resources.

The waiting list for services is about 40 households long, but it never grows larger because at 40 on the list, the office stops adding names.

"It could be 100 names long if we kept adding them," Whitmore said.

The service helps elderly residents who have in-home medical needs.

A big concern in the office, she said, is the lack of middle-income housing in Genesee County, she said.  

There's no shortage of low-income housing and homes that are more expensive are available, but in that middle-income bracket, especially for seniors looking for apartments, there's just nothing available.

"We'd love to see that kind of option here," Whitmore said. "It's a niche, but a niche we don't have here. We need it, too, and in our county or another county in the state is going to meet that need."

January 7, 2012 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in office for the aging, handyman program.

Press release:

Are you an older adult who has trouble getting in and out of your home? The Genesee County Office for the Aging wants to remind Genesee County residents, age 60 and over that handyman services are available.

The handyman can repair or install stair railings, repair entry steps, add exterior grab bars for stability, install motion sensor lighting for entryways as well as other services. While the handyman can do many jobs, priority is given to those that promote personal safety.

“The handyman can do those small jobs that make a big difference in the life of an older adult," said Courtney Iburi, specialist for Aging Services. "Especially during the winter months, it is a good idea to look at one’s entryway to make it as safe as possible.

"Sometimes just the addition of a grab bar to hang onto while opening the door can prevent a fall.”

The Handyman Program is made possible by the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging. Contact the local Office for the Aging for more information at 343-1611.

October 18, 2010 - 12:51pm
Event Date and Time: 
October 19, 2010 - 10:00am to October 20, 2010 - 7:00pm

                                Looking Into YOUR Future

May 27, 2010 - 4:52pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, events, office for the aging, Fraud.
Event Date and Time: 
June 4, 2010 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Greg Gramiccioni and Letizia Tagliafierro of the New York State Attorney General's Office will be giving a presentation on fraud at the Office for the Aging, at 2 Bank St., in Batavia.

Free and open to the public, this presentation will be from 1 until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4. It will include information on the different types of fraud currently being practiced, as well as how consumers can protect themselves. Topics include:

October 1, 2008 - 4:14pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, office for the aging.

From Jill Yasses, with the Genesee County Office for the Aging:

Hi - I just wanted to make everyone aware of a program we are offering at the Genesee County Office for the Aging. It is an opportunity for individuals with dementia to come into our agency for 4 hours to have lunch and do activities. Their loved one is then able to take time to get ready for the holidays. The event will take place on November 18th, December 4th and 11th from noon until 4pm. Please keep in mind  even if someone can't take advantage of it, perhaps they have friends/family members/co-workers/neighbors who could!  Individuals do need to call the Office for the Aging to register for this program, 343-1611. Thanks so much!

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button