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Office for the Aging

June 30, 2022 - 2:24pm
posted by Press Release in farmers market, Office for the Aging, news.

Press release:

Genesee County Office for the Aging does not yet have the Farmers Market Coupons, due to a delay with the shipment.

At this time we will not be able to distribute coupons until after July 5.  We will post updates as we get them.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

June 28, 2022 - 10:18am
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, farmers market, news.

Press release:

Genesee County Office for the Aging will be handing out Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons throughout the county, beginning July 1, 2022. 

The first location will be the Genesee Country Farmers Market, Alva Place, Batavia, every Friday in July from 10 a.m. to noon.

Next at the LeRoy Farmers Market, Trigon Park, LeRoy, Saturday, July 2, 23, and 30 during market hours.

We will also be handing them out at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia, every Tuesday in July from 10 a.m. to noon at our outside patio and in our Community Room if it is raining.

If you live in senior housing, a flyer will be posted in your building announcing when our staff will be there with coupons.

June 17, 2022 - 12:00pm


Q & A with Genesee County Office for the Aging Director, Diana Fox:
Q: Why an Open House and why now?
A: We’ve reopened! If you don’t know who we are or what we do, this event is for you.
Q: What can everyone expect?
A: To come in and talk with our staff, no appointment necessary! Discover the wide variety of programs, services and activities Office for the Aging offers focusing on advocacy, education and awareness, social and health-related supports and benefits assistance. We primarily serve Genesee County residents 60 year of age and older and their caregivers. Find out how our core programs support older residents and their families through programs like: home delivered meals and group lunch programs, recreation/social activities, volunteer opportunities, case management, in-home personal care and housekeeping, medical/shopping transportation, outreach and benefits counseling, legal assistance, information and referral, home improvement and home energy assistance, as well as long- term care and health insurance counseling.
Q: What is new with Office for the Aging? What is the same?
A: We have some new faces that we want everyone to meet! In our new Community Room, there will be a demonstration of Get Set Up--the largest and fastest growing online community of older adults who want to learn, connect and do wonderful things. We’re also happy to announce the expansion of our Got Groceries? Program, a no-cost volunteer-based grocery shopping and delivery service for older residents.
Many things have remained the same, like our long-standing staff members and our new ones, who are ready to help in any way we can. We’re looking forward to welcoming the public for a great afternoon together!

May 18, 2022 - 9:02pm
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news.

Press release:

Office for the Aging with be distributing Farmers’ Market Coupons again this year!  We expect to begin after July 1st, but not before then.  We will be circulating flyers around the county, announcing the distribution locations. There will also be announcements on WBTA, ads in the local newspaper, Pennysavers and online media outlets.  Do not forget to check the Office for the Aging on the Genesee County website https://www.co.genesee.ny.us and Office for the Aging’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GCOfficeFortheAging For additional information, please call our office at (585) 343-1611

 

May 10, 2022 - 10:20pm

7d55825d-552d-4ba4-9678-9c2a9fd610db.jpeg
Stephen Pribek likes to go grocery shopping. In fact, not only will he go out shopping for his family, but also for a friend.

Pribek, a retired Batavia City Schools teacher, is a volunteer at Genesee County’s Office For the Aging. For the past 10 months or so he’s been picking up groceries for a senior citizen who can’t quite get out as easily anymore.

“I really look forward to it,” Pribek said during an interview with The Batavian. “It fills a need for both of us. I need to feel productive and he has trouble getting around.”

The “Got Groceries?” program evolved out of a pilot to try out the concept during the pandemic, OFA Director Diana Fox said. While some people had physical issues that limited their ability to shop, many others didn’t feel safe to go out during a virus running rampant or didn’t even have a computer to do online shopping, she said.

“It created a barrier for some people. And so if there was somebody that, maybe they didn't have a caregiver in the area, and they needed some help with getting their things,” Fox said. “We started this with just a couple of people that needed it, then added in one of our staff … And so they connected up.”

The service is not a free grocery program, she said, and clients need to be able to pay for the goods themselves. Volunteers take a gift card issued from the agency, purchase the groceries, provide a receipt to the agency and client, and OFA then bills the client for the items.

Got Groceries? has worked so well that OFA was invited to apply for additional funding to continue and expand it, Fox said. She has applied for three grants, including $88,000 for centralized intake, $16,225 for marketing coordination and $14,464 for the Got Groceries? program.

They are through the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging and are up for approval at Wednesday’s Genesee County Legislature meeting. The request has already been given the nod by both the Human Services and Ways and Means committees.

“There’s no cost to the county,” Fox said. “I don’t anticipate any issue with that.”

There are eight clients currently, each with a different volunteer, for the pilot program. Fox would like to increase that to 20 participants. Volunteers aren’t on the hook for any money, as gift cards are used for the purchases, and the helpers often tack the errand onto when they do their own personal shopping, she said. If anyone is interested in volunteering for this program, contact the OFA at (585) 343-1611.

Pribek’s time so far has been rewarding, he said.

“I ended up being friends with the client; we chat,” Pribek said. “I use a gift card, and I like the way it works out; it seems to run very smooth. And the people at the Office For the Aging are very nice to work with; it seems very well organized.”

Top photo: Got Groceries? connects people having issues with their shopping and volunteers to do it for them. Photo by Howard Owens 

April 6, 2022 - 2:57pm
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Office for the Aging:

The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) can help.

LIHWAP is a drinking water and wastewater emergency assistance program funded through new federal resources. Benefits are based on the amount of unpaid water and wastewater bills owed by applicants. This assistance is targeted at low-income households and income guidelines will mirror that of the Home Energy Assistance Program.

LIHWAP benefits are based on the actual amount of drinking water and/or wastewater arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per drinking water or wastewater provider, or $5,000 if drinking water and wastewater services are combined, per household. Benefits are paid directly to the household’s drinking water and/or wastewater vendor(s).

Eligibility and benefits are based on:

  • income,
  • household size,
  • household includes a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or qualified alien, and
  • Amount owed to drinking water and/or wastewater provider(s).

Primary applicants must provide:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence
  • Documentation of earned and unearned income
  • A drinking water, wastewater, or combined drinking water and wastewater bill listing their permanent and primary residence
  • A valid Social Security Number (SSN) o SSNs of additional household members will be requested

For more information, visit https://otda.ny.gov/LIHWAP

February 2, 2022 - 6:53pm

img_0536.jpg

Press release:

Excelsior Energy Center presented the Genesee County Office for the Aging Meals on Wheels program through the Genesee Senior Foundation with $500.00. This donation will provide necessary aid, supplies, and resources for Genesee County for residents 60 years of age and older, their caregivers, as well as disabled persons of all ages.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging operates a nutrition program that provides a daily nutritionally balanced hot meal to older persons. Besides promoting health and nutrition, this program is designed to provide opportunities to socialize with others and to improve access to a variety of social and health services.

Frances McNulty, Genesee Senior Foundation Chairperson, and Genesee County Office of the Aging Director, Diana Fox joined Excelsior Energy Center to receive the donation on Friday morning. “NextEra Energy Resources will be helping us supplement home delivered meal cost,” said Diana Fox. Over $300,000 a year goes towards feeding people here in Genesee County.

“As a partner in the community donating to the Meals on Wheels program will provide many community members with a better way of life,’ said José De Armas, Project Director. “The Excelsior Energy Project will create new jobs, generate long-term revenue, and deliver economic development to Genesee County and the Town of Byron.”

Meals are available, Monday through Friday, at one or more of the five congregate meal sites in the county and through the Home Delivered Meal program. Visit the Genesee County Office of the Aging website, here, to learn more.

Photo by Howard Owens

December 3, 2021 - 9:31am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, COVID-19, genesee county, Office for the Aging.

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers, in response to a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, has revised the masking policy for county employees.

Effective yesterday, all county employees are required to wear masks while in county buildings, regardless of their vaccination status. Previously, the requirement was that county employees had to show that they were vaccinated in order to not have to wear an approved face covering.

“We can point to three key reasons why this change has been made,” Landers said last night. “First, Genesee County set a new record for positive cases in one day yesterday (Wednesday) with 82; next we are seeing that 35 percent of the positive cases are vaccine breakthrough cases (those who previously were vaccinated) and, although not confirmed, there is suspected spread of the virus from county employees.”

Landers said he is approaching further policy changes “in steps,” adding that the next step would be to require masking of members of the public in county facilities.

However, he said there would be “no step where we would impose anything on private entities, such as businesses. That would be left up to the state.”

He said he is leaving it up to department heads when it comes to specific buildings.

“At the Office for the Aging (on Bank Street), masks are required for both staff and the public,” he said, noting a higher risk among elderly residents.

Landers did say that once people are seated and kept apart by at least six feet, they can remove their masks.

The county employs about 500 people at various locations.

September 16, 2021 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in HEAP, Office for the Aging, news.

Press Release:

Each year, Office for the Aging assists older adults with their HEAP applications.  If you received your pre-printed application in the mail for the 2021-2022 HEAP season, please mail it to Office for the Aging, 2 Bank Street, Batavia, NY 14020.  You may also drop it off at the front desk of Office for the Aging.  Please be sure to include all current income information and year-to date interest and dividends earned on any accounts.

For new applicants, HEAP will open on October 1, 2021.  We will have blank applications available in our front vestibule.  If you have any questions about how to fill a new application out, we encourage you to call the office.

Due to continued concerns with COVID, walk-ins are highly discouraged.  Many questions can be answered during a phone call.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.   

August 25, 2021 - 11:57am
posted by Press Release in news, Office for the Aging.

Press release from Genesee County Office for the Aging:

HEAT ADVISORY:  TODAY

With high temperatures, we want to be sure you understand possible dangers.  To protect oneself from heat-related stress and prevent heat-related problems, the CDC recommends the following tips:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him/her how much you should drink when the weather is hot.)
  •  Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
  • If possible, seek an air- conditioned environment.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

Danger signs for Heat Exhaustion

Call the doctor if any of these symptoms arise:

Heavy sweating, tiredness, headache, skin cool & moist, paleness, muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness, nausea or vomiting, fainting, pulse rate fast & weak, breathing fast & shallow.

Danger signs for Heat Stroke

Needing immediate medical attention:

  • extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F)
  • red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • rapid strong pulse
  • throbbing headache
  • dizziness and nausea
August 15, 2021 - 8:02am
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news, batavia.

Anyone 60  years or older and income-eligible can receive a Famers Market coupon booklet from the Office for the Aging.

The booklets are available at 2 BAnk St., Batavia, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Income guidelines:

  • One person in the household, $1,986 monthly
  • Two people, $2,686 monthly
  • Three people, $3,386 monthly
August 13, 2021 - 6:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Office for the Aging, news.

Press release:

  • Grab bar and railing installation
  • Minor plumbing repairs
  • Window and door repairs
  • Smoke & CO detector installation
  • Other non-emergency home repairs

No charge for labor for residents 60+. Some material costs may apply. Donations towards labor costs are gratefully accepted and are put back into the program.

All work done with COVID-19 screening and safe work practices in place.

Call 585-815-7979 for more information

The Handyman Program is operated as a partnership between PathStone Corporation and the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

Funded by:  Muriel H. Marshall Fund

July 23, 2021 - 9:06am

As a result of three committee meetings this week, Genesee County legislators have much to vote upon when they meet as a full board next Wednesday.

Resolutions passed at Monday’s Human Services and Public Service meetings and Wednesday’s Ways & Means meeting that were not previously reported upon by The Batavian include the following:

  • $1.4 million for COVID-19 testing in schools

The New York State Department of Health has awarded the Genesee County Health Department funding in the amount of $1,415,984 for COVID-19 school testing activities and to purchase personal protective equipment for all public and private school pupils from Universal Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Public Health Director Paul Pettit said the money can also be used for testing supplies and telehealth services for both students and faculty. Distribution of funds will be based on the population at each school, he added. The grant does not cover vaccination.

  • ARP funds to help spruce up OFA

This resolution calls for using $64,416 of more than $233,000 awarded through the American Rescue Plan for a capital project at the Genesee County Office for the Aging on Bank Street.

The project consists of reconfiguring and adding office space, carpeting and painting, replacing the dishwasher and garbage disposal, and adding other furnishings, equipment and subscriptions to enhance the client experience, OFA Director Diana Fox said.

The Human Services Committee also approved using some of the ARP money to fund two new positions at the OFA – a part-time program assistant and full-time financial clerk typist, both through Dec. 31, 2024 – and expand a part-time program assistant position from 15 hours biweekly to 19.5 hours biweekly, also through Dec. 31, 2024.

Two part-time vacant nutrition program meal site assistant positions were eliminated.

  • Radio system contract with L3 Harris is extended

The Public Service Committee recommended approval of an extension of the public safety radio system maintenance services contract with L3 Harris Technologies Inc., through Dec. 31, 2026, at a cost of $188,567 per year.

The agreement was set to expire on Dec. 31 of this year, but since the county will be adding a new tower site on Molasses Hill Road in Alexander, it was determined to extend it at this time.

Another resolution to accept $205,530 in grant funding from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communication was approved. The money will be used to offset a portion of the 2021 Communications budget, according to Emergency Communication Director Steve Sharpe.

  • SROs to continue at Byron-Bergen, Pavilion

School Resource Officers will remain at Byron-Bergen and Pavilion central school districts for at least another year, with B-B opting for a September through August 2022 schedule at a cost of $102,813.81 and Pavilion going with a July through June 2022 schedule at a cost of $119,021.07.

Sheriff William Sheron said the difference in cost is due to one SRO having a single health insurance plan instead of a family plan. The cost to the schools include the hourly rate for a deputy sheriff, fringe benefits and insurances.

Public Service also approved a resolution to expend $10,757 from the K9 Donations Reserve Account to help in the recovery of K9 Rayzor, who recently suffered a leg injury and is need of physical therapy and medications before returning to service.

K9 Frankie also has had physical issues, but currently is fully functional, said Sheron, who thanked the public for donations to the fund, which has been depleted.

  • More funding for Justice for Children Advocacy Center

A grant from the state Office of Children and Family Services’ to fund the Justice for Children Advocacy Center has been renewed, with this year’s amount of $190,143 representing a $2,000 increase from last year.

Funds from this grant will enable the program to provide services for children and families affected by abuse in the Batavia, Warsaw and Albion areas, JCAC Coordinator Theresa Roth said.

  • ARPA funds to aid Genesee County Airport

Thirty-two thousand dollars in funding from the American Recovery Plan Act to offset expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be coming to the Genesee County Airport.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said the money will be used to help pay down the debt service on the terminal and main hangar. Hens noted that the county is expected to receive about $100,000 in this type of funding by the end of the year, and all will be used in the same manner.

June 30, 2021 - 2:22pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging has added a new program to its many services for adults 60 years of age and older. The new "Got Groceries?" program is a free grocery-shopping service.

Diana Fox, director of the Office for the Aging, said, “After completing a pilot phase, we are pleased to open this program up to both volunteers and individuals who are in need of the service.”

The office is looking for volunteers who are age 55 and older to do the shopping and deliver the groceries to individuals' homes within Genesee County. The commitment can be as little as two shopping trips a month or more often if the volunteer is willing and the need exists.

Those interested in receiving the service must be 60 years of age and older with the ability to pay for the groceries and unable to do own shopping or place orders via internet.

The office is kicking this off with an Open House on Wednesday, July 14 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. outdoors on the patio of the Senior Center, 2 Bank St., Batavia. Interested parties are invited to stop by anytime for information on volunteering or receiving this service for themselves or a loved one.

No reservations are needed. Those attending may enter a drawing for a $50 gift card, which will be drawn at 12:15 p.m.

If unable to join us for the Open House, please call ask marshall at (585) 815-7979 or email:   [email protected] for more information.

Seed funding for this program was provided by the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging at Rochester Area Community Foundation with ongoing support from the NY State Office for the Aging, NY Connects, Administration for Community Living, Corporation for National and Community Service and the generous support of the Genesee County Legislature.

June 15, 2021 - 11:53am

Press release:

Office for the Aging with be distributing Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons again this year! This is expected to begin after July 1st, but not before then.

In an effort to keep socially distant, all the distributions will be held outdoors wherever possible. Please bring your own pen to sign for the booklet.

We will be circulating flyers around the county, announcing the distribution locations. There will also be announcements on WBTA, ads in the local newspaper, Pennysavers and online media outlets.

Don’t forget to check the Office for the Aging on the Genesee County website and Office for the Aging’s Facebook page. For additional information, please call our office at (585) 343-1611.

May 6, 2021 - 4:16pm
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news, GetSetUp.

Press release:

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) today announced a partnership with The Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) and GetSetUp to offer 50,000 classes, featuring more than 300 different course options developed by and for older adults.

The GetSetUp curriculum and community are designed to combat social isolation and promote independence through live, interactive classes and online connectivity with a community of more than 650,000 older adult learners from more than 160 countries around the globe.

Additionally, all guides and instructors are retired educators/professionals/technologists, promoting economic empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and a purpose driven life.

Instructors are trained to help older adults learn by doing, not just watching, and all learners are encouraged to become creators by leading their own interest groups.

GetSetUp classes are organized into four broad categories:

  • Digital Divide/Connectivity (orientation to Zoom and how to use various devices)
  • Physical Health (i.e. Tai Chi/Yoga/Healthy Cooking)
  • Mental Health (i.e. Dementia/Coping with Stress/Meditation), and
  • Social Health (i.e. Book Club/Gardening/Pets/Travel/Brain Games)

The GetSetUp platform offers more than 40 classes each weekday, and more than ten classes each weekend. They recently launched “GetSetUp TV” for hesitant older adults to get a flavor of the GetSetUp platform without having to fully participate. Classes are rotated regularly to offer the widest variety of programming for older adults in the four main categories.

Technology solutions have grown dramatically over the past year and platforms such as GetSetUp will be part of the new normal. Connecting older adults to an online forum of their peers empowers engagement, continual learning, and even access to employment opportunities outside of the traditional brick and mortar approach.

Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said: “Social isolation was a public health problem prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic clearly made it worse. This partnership will expand our ability to reduce isolation, depression, and anxiety by significantly expanding virtual programming into the homes of isolated older adults to keep them connected.

"Furthermore, this partnership will allow us to build more programming and classes, taught by older adults, providing them with an economic opportunity to earn money through their skills. We are thrilled to partner with The Association on Aging in New York and GetSetUp to launch this project.”

Executive Director of the Association on Aging in New York Rebecca Preve said, “The Association on Aging in New York is thrilled to partner with GetSetUp, to bring interactive programming to older residents in their homes and communities. This opportunity will alleviate social isolation while providing enriched educational programs to thousands of older New Yorkers.

"As we continue to support older residents, programs like GetSetUp are vitally important to remain connected and engaged. We are grateful to GetSetUp, NYSOFA, and the 59 AAA’s that work every day to make New York a leader in aging services.”

 Cofounder of GetSetUp Lawrence Kosick said, “We are thrilled to partner with NYOSFA and The Association on Aging in New York to provide the state’s older adult population with a scalable way to support lifelong learning, health, and mental well-being.

"We could not be more excited to welcome New York’s older adults to the GetSetUp community, which has recorded more than four million minutes of learning and connection in the last three months, and half a million connections between learners. The power of the platform will continue to be amplified as the community of instructors and learners expands, and this partnership is another huge step in the right direction for our older adult population.”

About the New York State Office for the Aging and Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly New York

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continuously works to help the state’s 4.3 million older adults be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development, and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them.

New York is nationally recognized for being the first age-friendly state in the nation. Using the state’s Prevention Agenda as the overarching framework, in 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a Health Across All Policiesapproach, where public and private partners work together to positively impact population health by marrying health care, preventive health, and community design, in concert with addressing social determinants of health, to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, young and old.

Stay connected—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter and NYSAging on Instagram; or visit aging.ny.gov.

About the Association on Aging in New York

The Association on Aging in New York supports and advocates for New York’s mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works collaboratively with a network of organizations that exist to promote independence, preserve dignity, and provide support for residents of New York State as they age. For more information, follow us on Facebook, visit www.agingny.org or call 518-449-7080. 

About GetSetUp

GetSetUp is an online community of people who want to learn new skills, connect with others, and unlock new life experiences. Their safe, social, and interactive learning environment has been specifically designed for older adults. Classes are taught by older adults and kept small to ensure everyone can actively participate. The platform helps older adults stay mentally and physically fit, creates economic opportunities through jobs and reskilling, and provides a community where people find meaning and purpose by helping each other and forming new connections. Founded in 2019, GetSetUp is headquartered in California. Learn more at https://www.getsetup.io/.

April 28, 2021 - 2:00pm

Press release:

Greg Olsen, director of the New York State Office for the Aging, urges all New Yorkers to take the CV19 CheckUp, a free, anonymous, personalized, online tool that evaluates an individual’s risks associated with COVID-19 based on their circumstances.

CV19 CheckUp assesses each person’s unique situation and presents options to help reduce risk and enhance quality of life. It provides recommendations and resources to help reduce an individual’s pandemic risks.

CV19 CheckUp uses artificial intelligence to analyze data provided by each person who completes an anonymous online questionnaire. It is designed for those who are considered high risk, including older adults, individuals who are low income, members of ethnic and racial minority groups, and the LGBTQ community.

The tool’s algorithms are driven by science and medicine, using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

CV19 CheckUp is free and anonymous. It does not require a name, email address, or identifier of any type.

Upon completion of the questionnaire, CV19 CheckUp immediately delivers a personalized report, presenting options for reducing risk and enhancing quality of life during the pandemic.

According to Director Olsen, “The time for reminding the public about the risks of getting COVID-19 is now, while people are still getting their vaccination and as COVID fatigue sets in. We must continue to ensure that older New Yorkers understand there’s still a risk of getting sick. This is especially true as CV19 CheckUp data shows those age 75 and older dangerously underestimate their personal risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”  

Olsen continued, “Even though vaccinations increase each week, it is critical that all New Yorkers continue to follow safety protocols. Now is not the time to let our guard down, but to continue to practice safe behaviors. New York State continues to move forward with reopening, but some lower-risk individuals have begun to relax. Many people have stopped social distancing and practicing safe pandemic behaviors, which threaten the health and well-being of those who are at higher risk.”

The CV19 CheckUp is generating helpful information that is educating individuals about their risk of contracting COVID-19 based on their behavior. To date, more than 67,000 people have completed the CV19 CheckUp survey.

Director Olsen said, “The results generated so far by the CV19 CheckUp show that most adults (77 percent) underestimate the lethal threat risk they pose to older adults, and half of them underestimate the risk to themselves of contracting COVID-19. The good news revealed by the CheckUp is that after learning about the risks to themselves and their loved ones, more than half (58 percent) of respondents say they would modify their behaviors to keep older friends and loves ones safe.

“This tool can also help reduce hesitancy about getting vaccinated. Researchers believe educating individuals about their pandemic risk will motivate them to get vaccinated. When people understand the lethal threat they pose to their relatives and friends, getting the vaccine becomes more appealing. In addition, with this new knowledge, individuals are more likely to reach out to others and urge them to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Through the CV19 CheckUp, governments and health organizations receive data facilitating the development of methods to help target high risk populations. The data is completely anonymous, and findings may be used to gain insights on:

  • What people know and believe about the pandemic;
  • Compliance levels with recommended safety protocols;
  • Behaviors by location, race, ethnicity, economic status, etc.;
  • Unmet needs for health care, social services and financial support.

To learn more, about the CV19 CheckUp, please visit newyork.cv19checkup.org.

April 2, 2021 - 2:02pm
posted by Press Release in Seniors, news, Office for the Aging, government benefits.

Press release:

New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in collaboration with state agencies and other partners, has created a series of videos on how to complete and submit applications for benefits for older New Yorkers and other eligible individuals.

Many New Yorkers are eligible for a variety of federal, state and local benefits that can put cash in their pockets, help pay for prescriptions, food and heat, have their taxes reduced, and help pay for their care.

These benefits are paid for with tax dollars by the same individuals who need them, however, many are either unaware of these benefits, reluctant to apply for them, or need assistance in understanding and filling out applications.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to apply for these benefits by showing them how to fill out certain applications and get them approved,” said Greg Olsen, NYSOFA acting director. “and instead of people having to go to the experts, we decided to bring the experts to them.”

The initial videos in the series are available on the NYSOFA website (page link) and its social media pages, including YouTube. Additional video tutorials will be added on an ongoing basis.

Here is a list of the videos and applications they cover:  

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- application for food assistance;
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) -- assistance with paying for heat or air conditioning;
  • Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) -- assistance to afford prescription drugs;
  • Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowners Exemption (DRE) – assistance with housing costs by freezing rent;
  • NY School Tax Relief (STAR) Program -- local property tax reduction;
  • Medicare Part-B - assistance in paying for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services
  • Medicare Savings Program (MSP) -- assistance in paying for Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions;
  • Weatherization Assistance Program -- assistance with making homes more energy efficient to reduce energy costs;
  • EmPower NY -- assistance to reduce monthly energy costs;
  • Extra Help -- assistance in  paying for Medicare prescription drug program costs, like premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

About the New York State Office for the Aging
The mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is to help older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them. Stay connected to the New York State Office for the Aging—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.

March 2, 2021 - 5:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Office for the Aging.

While they won’t receive a “master’s degree in Aging,” the men and women who complete the Aging in Mastery Program through the Genesee County Office for the Aging will walk away with knowledge of the behaviors that promote healthy living and a greater sense of well-being.

That’s the word from Jill Yasses, aging services specialist at the OFA, which is conducting – in conjunction with the National Council on Aging Inc. -- virtual and, hopefully soon, in-person classes for adults 55 and older.

“The goal of the Aging in Mastery Program is for participants to lead a healthy and happy life by focusing on key aspects of health, finances, relationships, personal growth and community engagement,” Yasses said.

The 10-class core curriculum covers a different topic in each session, she said.

Topics are Navigating Longer Lives, Healthy Relationships, Exercise and You, Sleep, Healthy Eating and Hydration, Financial Fitness, Medication Management, Advance Planning, Falls Prevention, and Community Engagement.

“Most of the classes include a guest speaker who is familiar with the topic being discussed,” Yasses said. “This program is interactive so the participants are very involved in the conversations, and there is no charge for the program.”

On Monday, the Genesee County Legislature Human Services Committee voted in favor of the OFA contracting with the Population Health Collaborative in Buffalo to deliver $4,000 in grant funding for the program.

Genesee County OFA Director Diana Fox reported that all expenses will be paid through this service agreement extension at no cost to the county.

Yasses said a virtual class just finished and another one is being set up.

“This class is normally offered in person but due to COVID we did a pilot program to see how a virtual program would be,” she said, adding that she already has started a list for those interested in taking the next class (date to be determined).

She said the goal is to offer an in-person class once COVID-19 is under control, but a third virtual class is a possibility.

“The virtual class is very beneficial to those who have difficulty leaving the home due to lack of transportation, a disability or even a caregiver who cannot leave their loved one alone,” she explained.

Class size is usually 10 to 15 people, but could be increased depending upon the interest level, Yasses said.

For more information or to sign up for a class, call her at (585) 343-1611. Click here to access the ADP website.

February 5, 2021 - 3:49pm
posted by Press Release in news, Office for the Aging, phone scams, Medicare, crime.

Press release from the Genesee County Office of the Aging:

Callers claiming to be from Medicare have been targeting seniors in our local area.

Please be aware:

  • Medicare will NEVER call and ask for your Medicare number.
  • If you get a call from someone promising free items, if you give them your Medicare number (can include back brace, glucose monitor, pain relievers for arthritis) -- DO NOT DO IT. This is a scam, even if they tell you it is not.
  • Refuse any offer, money, or gifts for free medical care.
  • If you see any charges on your Explanation of Benefits from Medicare, or from your Medicare Advantage provider that you do not understand, call the office from where it was billed to question the charge.
  • Most importantly – guard your card like it is a credit card. If you did not initiate the call, do not give out any information.

If you feel you may have been a victim of Medicare fraud, please call the NYS Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-333-4374.

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