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office for the aging

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.

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.

January 25, 2021 - 4:35pm

Press release:

Genesee and Orleans counties continue to work diligently to distribute the limited supply of vaccine received in their continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were hoping to receive 2,500 doses of the vaccine between Genesee and Orleans counties but were made aware that is not going to occur because of the statewide shortage,” said Paul Pettit, director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

“We realize that those who hoped to schedule appointments this week are going to be very upset as well and we are disappointed to have to give them this news.”

The state(wide) allocations were the same as the week before (250,000), the county health departments (Genesee and Orleans) are only receiving 300 doses total between the two this week, which will be utilized for 1B essential workers per the state’s directive.

Those over age 65 should continue to seek vaccine from their providers, pharmacies and the state sites. Appointments for vaccine are currently online ONLY.

Last week the county-run clinics were able administer approximately 1,050 doses.

“At GCC on Friday alone, we were able to administer approximately 550 doses of the vaccine in a seamless fashion. On average, people got theirshots and were able to leave the testing sites within 20 minutes,” said Matt Landers, Genesee County manager.

“As a result of our experience inoperating the COVID19 testing sites, our workforce and community volunteers have been able to replicate this into a smooth operation at the vaccination siteswhen vaccine supplies are readily available.”

We ask those who are 65 and older, part of Priority Group 1B, to continue to check the clinic schedules and as requested by the state, to use the pharmacy links. Pharmacies and other sites that are part of the “retail network” are workingto provide vaccine to the 65 and older population as they receive vaccine.

How the pharmacies set up their appointments are determined by the pharmacies and the state. The local Health Departments or OFAs do not have insight on how pharmacy clinics are run.

Keep checking the site links as many of the pharmacies may not have received vaccine.

If you do not have a computer/internet access, please contact your Office for the Aging for assistance. For Genesee County call (585) 813-2457 between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and for Orleans County call (585) 589-3191 between 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and they will assist you as best as they can.

Please check the following links:

For clinic schedules when vaccine is available and information about vaccination clinics:

http://bit.ly/39bfElNGOHealthVaccine, please note the registration links are subject to change and will be updated.

For the NYS-run vaccine clinics: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

Clinics are only open when there is vaccine available. You currently can only register for an appointment online.

Each provider is responsible for their own registration and set-up, the Health Departments are only responsible for the clinics they sponsor. Please do not call the host sites for the County Vaccination Clinics...they are only providing the space and cannot assist with registration or questions.

You must return to the provider where you initially got your first shot, for your second shot. You must also get the same vaccine brand as your first shot. The appointment is to be made for you while you are there for your first shot.

October 22, 2020 - 2:58pm
posted by Press Release in Medicaid, office for the aging, Announcements.

From the Office for the Aging:

Open Enrollment for those on Medicare is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year. The NY Connects/Genesee County Office for the Aging continues to be an unbiased resource that has information on all plans available for Genesee County residents.

Even during COVID-19, we are still here to assist you with your choices. Please call us at 343-1611; Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

April 2, 2020 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, office for the aging, news, handyman program.

From the Genesee County Office for the Aging:

Handyman Program Update

The Handyman Program for Genesee County residents age 60 years and older will be limiting services during this time.

Due to the guidance provided by the State* and to protect the safety and well-being of the service recipient, requests for IN-HOME Handyman services will be prescreened and a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outdoor repairs will continue.

Requests for Handyman services may be made by calling NY Connects/Genesee County Office for the Aging at (585) 343-1611.

The Handyman Program is funded by the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging and is administered by the PathStone Corporation. 

*UPDATED by Governor Cuomo's office at 4:01 p.m. today (April 2) NYS on PAUSE Extended: it mandates that nonessential workers work from home, and everyone is required to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the facts.

November 1, 2019 - 4:16pm

The Genesee County Office for the Aging is offering an exclusive bus trip for a lunch at Salvatore's Italian Gardens Restaurant in Depew, featuring the live show "A 'Sinatra' Christmas My Way" with Buffalo entertainer Gary Quatrani.

This special Sinatra-inspired holiday bash sells out every year. Must RSVP by Nov. 15.

Trip is Tuesday, Dec. 3 and costs $49 per person, including lunch and show ticket. Cash bar is available.

Quatrani brings to life the timeless classics of Frank Sinatra, one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century. Quatrani includes Sinatra favorites as well as festive holiday songs.

Come and be entertained, reminisce and sing along with this uplifting tribute to Sinatra and fantastic holiday show.

(Here's a link to Quatrani's take on "That's Life" performed at Salvatore's in 2017.)

Upon reservation, you can select one of three entrees:

  • Lemon-caper chicken;
  • Bruschetta tilapia;
  • or spiral ribbon vegetables served on bed of ancient grains with marinara sauce.

Departure from the Office of the Aging, located at 2 Bank St. in Downtown Batavia, is at 10 a.m. on Dec. 3.

Doors at the venue open at 11 a.m. There will be a basket auction with tickets available for purchase to benefit a local charity (to be announced). These tickets are nonrefundable.

Lunch is served at noon. Entertainment begins at 1:30. Prizes awarded at 2:45.

Departure for Batavia is at 3 p.m.

For booking or more information call the Office for the Aging at 343-1611.

The bus tour event is provided by Know How Tours.

August 1, 2019 - 1:08pm

Press release:

If you are a Genesee County resident 60 or older (or you know someone who is) and would like help with small repairs to your home, inside or out, let the Handyman help.

The Handyman Program, offered through the Pathstone Corporation and funded by the Muriel Marshall Fund, is a home maintenance and minor repair program.

According to a comment posted by program supervisor John Wiltse, and confirmed by Office of the Aging specialist Maureen Estabrooks, there is no charge for lower-income seniors needing grab bars or hand rails installed or other services with modest materials costs.

Wiltse says seniors may need to cover part of the cost of materials, depending on the dollar amount. For higher-income seniors, the program requests a donation of $10/hr. for handyman labor to help offset program costs.

Call NY Connects/Office for the Aging at 343-1611 for more information.

A sampling of services is as follows:

  • Install grab-bars
  • Repair entry steps Install hand rails
  • Repair porches
  • Electrical repairs
  • Window and door repairs
  • Install weather stripping
  • Gutter repairs
  • Install smoke detectors/change batteries
  • Hang pictures
  • Fix faucets
  • Unclog drains
  • Install mailboxes
  • Install locksets & deadbolts
July 24, 2019 - 3:43pm

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 $1,926 per month;
  • Household of two $2,607 per month;
  • Household of three $3,289 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, says, “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 17, 2019 - 2:39pm

Press release:

Farmers Market Coupons will be distributed at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia, on the following dates:

  • Wednesday            June 26         10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday            July 10           1 - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday                 July 16           10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Thursday                July 18           10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Also, the Genesee County Office for the Aging also plans to distribute coupons at the:

  • Le Roy Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 6;
  • Downtown Batavia Public Market from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, July 26.

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 $1,926 per month; household of two $2,607per month; and, household of three $3,289 per month.

Maureen Estabrooks, Office for the Aging’s coordinator for the program, noted, “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 purchase fresh produce from our local farmers.”

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

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

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