Office for the Aging https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Office for the Aging https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Sat, 25 May 2024 14:06:09 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Wed, 15 May 2024 22:33:00 -0400 Office for the Aging holds open house to highlight services as it approaches 50th anniversary https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/office-for-the-aging-holds-open-house-to-highlight-services-as-it-approaches-50th
office for the aging 50th anniversary open house

On Tuesday, Genesee County's Office for the Aging commemorated Older Americans Month with an open house at its community center on Bank Street in Batavia.

The agency is also approaching its 50th anniversary, which it will mark on June 1.

The open house was intended to help the entire community better understand the service available, but especially older adults who are new to the area or those who have recently turned 60 or 65, said Diana Fox, executive director.

The office offers various services to local residents age 60 and older, including support for caregivers, in-home services, meals, a nutrition program, help with services for seniors, and activities for seniors.

"You know, people sometimes say that it's kind of the best-kept secret, but I think one of the things that are so great about (the Office for the Aging) is that these are services that are available for the community that, for the most part, don't cost anything. People don't realize what we have to offer. And I'm just so proud of the staff and their commitment. The people who come here, and they work here for years and then sometimes retire from the Office for the Aging because it's such a great place to be, and we love the people who come in to see us."

Photos by Howard Owens.

office for the aging 50th anniversary open house
office for the aging 50th anniversary open house
office for the aging 50th anniversary open house
office for the aging 50th anniversary open house
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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/office-for-the-aging-holds-open-house-to-highlight-services-as-it-approaches-50th#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/office-for-the-aging-holds-open-house-to-highlight-services-as-it-approaches-50th May 15, 2024, 10:33pm Office for the Aging Office for the Aging holds open house to highlight services as it approaches 50th anniversary Howard Owens <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-05/office-for-the-aging-50th-open-hosue.jpg?itok=XkXZJDG_" width="800" height="535" alt="office for the aging 50th anniversary open house" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <p>On Tuesday, Genesee County's Office for the Aging commemorated Older Americans Month with an open house at its community center on Bank Street in Batavia.</p><p>The agency is also approaching its 50th anniversary, which it will mark on June 1.</p><p>The open house was intended to help the entire</p>
GC Office for the Aging invites public to open house May 14 https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/gc-office-for-the-aging-invites-public-to-open-house-may-14/639143 Press Release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging invites you to an exciting Open House event on Tuesday, May 14, from 2 - 4 p.m. at 2 Bank Street, Batavia.

Come meet our dedicated staff and learn about our comprehensive programs and services, which positively impact residents of Genesee County. Engage with our team, ask questions, and explore the resources designed to enhance the quality of life for older adults, individuals living with disabilities in our community, and their caregivers.

Enjoy light refreshments and participate in fun activities with chances to win exciting prizes throughout the event!

We encourage everyone to attend and discover the valuable resources available through the Genesee County Office for the Aging. Save the date for May 14 and join us at our Open House! 

For more information, please contact Maureen Estabrooks at 585-343-1611 or Maureen.Estabrooks@co.genesee.ny.us.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/gc-office-for-the-aging-invites-public-to-open-house-may-14/639143#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/gc-office-for-the-aging-invites-public-to-open-house-may-14/639143 Apr 24, 2024, 3:35pm Office for the Aging GC Office for the Aging invites public to open house May 14 Press Release <p>Press Release:</p><blockquote><p>The Genesee County Office for the Aging invites you to an exciting Open House event on Tuesday, May 14, from 2 - 4 p.m. at 2 Bank Street, Batavia.</p><p>Come meet our dedicated staff and learn about our comprehensive programs and services, which positively impact residents of Genesee</p></blockquote>
GC Legislature recognizes older Americans, OFA https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/gc-legislature-recognizes-older-americans-ofa/634814
OFA recognition

Genesee County Legislature celebrates Older Americans Month (May 2023) this week, as Legislator Brooks Hawley presents a proclamation to Diana Fox, director of Office for the Aging and Advisory Board member Gina Stella.

Photo by Steven Falitico.
 

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https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/gc-legislature-recognizes-older-americans-ofa/634814#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/gc-legislature-recognizes-older-americans-ofa/634814 May 12, 2023, 8:33pm Office for the Aging GC Legislature recognizes older Americans, OFA jfbeck_99_272012 <div class="align-center"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-05/older-americans-month.jpg?itok=VmE_X_Dx" width="800" height="667" alt="OFA recognition" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <p>Genesee County Legislature celebrates <a href="https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/older-americans-celebrated-for-their-wisdom-contributions-experience/634813">Older Americans Month (May 2023)</a> this week, as Legislator Brooks Hawley presents a proclamation to Diana Fox, director of Office for the Aging and Advisory Board member Gina Stella.</p><p><em>Photo by Steven Falitico.</em><br>&nbsp;</p>
Town hall meeting on May 3 in Batavia will tackle subject of medication for opioid use disorder https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/town-hall-meeting-on-may-3-in-batavia-will-tackle-subject-of-medication-for-opioid-use Press release:

While there are plenty of acronyms in the field of substance use prevention and treatment, not many are as relevant to today’s environment than MOUD.

The Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force, in conjunction with The HEAL Initiative, is continuing its effort to inform the public of the benefits of MOUD – medication for opioid use disorder – by hosting a public forum on May 3 at the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 2 Bank St.

The “MOUD Anti-Stigma and Awareness Town Hall” will feature six speakers, including two men who are in recovery, and will be moderated by Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee & Orleans Health Departments.

Registration is set for 5 p.m., with the session to run from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Registration is recommended but not required, and a light dinner will be served. Naloxone training will be offered following the presentation.

“The major insights that we are looking to share with the public are defining MOUD and illustrating its effectiveness in treatment,” said Christen Foley, GOW Opioid Task Force coordinator. “We hope that this town hall meeting is a step toward clearing up any misconceptions with MOUD and reducing the stigma associated with substance use disorder.”

The forum also will touch upon topics such as creating a supportive environment for those struggling with opioid use disorder and providing local treatment and recovery resources in the region.

Panelists are as follows:

-- Dr. Samantha Gray, PhD, an advanced practice clinician at Horizon Health Service’s Batavia location and an adjunct professor within the department

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of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology at the University at Buffalo. She also has her own private practice.

Dr. Gray said she became invested as an advocate after her father passed away from an overdose in 2015. Her experience beyond the outpatient settings includes work with methadone programs, crisis response, homeless shelters, housing programs and community/resource coordination.

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-- Reilly Climenhaga, a detox technician at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, who has recovery coach and peer advocate certifications.  He struggled with opioid use disorder for more than 20 years, and has been on and off since the age of 20. He had been taking Sublocade -- a once-a-month injection of buprenorphine.

Climenhaga said that MOUD, coupled with working a strict program of recovery, has changed his life for the better.

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-- Randi Johnson, a physician assistant at GCASA for three years, working at the Albion outpatient clinic, at the detoxification facility and the methadone clinic. Previously, she worked in emergency room and urgent care settings.

Johnson said she has utilized buprenorphine micro-inductions to successfully initiate many patients on buprenorphine.

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-- Scott Davis, who is in his second year as a recovery coach and certified peer advocate with the Rochester Regional Health system. In recovery for three years, he attributes his success to determination, faith, a strong support team and the application of medication for substance use disorder.

Davis works with clients through Monroe County treatment courts – providing guidance and peer support, providing transportation for same day/next day inpatient admissions, and other services, including reentry into society following incarceration.

-- Kate Gregory, a licensed master social worker who is the manager of Chemical Dependency at Rochester Regional Health and Hope Haven Inpatient unit.

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A social worker since 2005, she has worked in both the mental health and chemical dependency fields in a variety of treatment settings, with direct patient care ranging from residential counseling, inpatient social work, jail counseling, community based crisis response and primary therapy.

Gregory, a RRH employee since 2018, was instrumental in overseeing the development of the system’s central access team to increase immediate access and response support across all RRH chemical dependency departments.

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-- Daniel Hauck, clinical supervisor at Hope Haven Inpatient Rehabilitation, RRH Chemical Dependency unit in Batavia. He has worked in the substance use treatment field since 2005 across multiple states, having received Master Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor status, specializing in trauma-informed care, community engagement and crisis intervention.

Hauck also has worked as a treatment court liaison for the Tompkins County Drug Court.

To register for the town hall meeting, go to bit.ly/3ndGbk4.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/town-hall-meeting-on-may-3-in-batavia-will-tackle-subject-of-medication-for-opioid-use#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/town-hall-meeting-on-may-3-in-batavia-will-tackle-subject-of-medication-for-opioid-use Apr 19, 2023, 1:46pm Office for the Aging Town hall meeting on May 3 in Batavia will tackle subject of medication for opioid use disorder Press Release <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <blockquote> <p>While there are plenty of acronyms in the field of substance use prevention and treatment, not many are as relevant to today’s environment than MOUD.</p> <p>The Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force, in conjunction with The HEAL Initiative, is continuing its effort to inform the public of the benefits of</p></blockquote>
Series of workshops offered on chronic disease self-management https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/series-of-workshops-offered-on-chronic-disease-self-management/628752 Press release: 

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) and the Genesee County Office for the Aging (GCOFA) will hold a series of Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshops on six Wednesdays, at no charge, starting with an Introductory Meeting, April 5, 2023 and continuing with the Workshops on April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM.  Classes will take place at the GCOFA, at 2 Bank Street in Batavia, NY 14020, and Snacks will be provided.

Participants will learn how to manage ongoing health conditions such as: Arthritis, Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Other Eating Disorders, and Asthma.

Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns.  Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep and relationship communication skills.

Participants who complete the series will receive a great resource book and gift card. 

Pre-registration is required; please call Cathy DeMare at 585-815-8501, ext. 400, by April 5th.

For individuals with disabilities or language interpretation needs, requests for reasonable accommodations should be made with five days’ notice. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, we respectfully ask you not to attend.

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.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/series-of-workshops-offered-on-chronic-disease-self-management/628752#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/series-of-workshops-offered-on-chronic-disease-self-management/628752 Mar 20, 2023, 6:05am Office for the Aging Series of workshops offered on chronic disease self-management Press Release <p>Press release:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) and the Genesee County Office for the Aging (GCOFA) will hold a series of Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshops on six Wednesdays, at no charge, starting with an Introductory Meeting, April 5, 2023 and continuing with the Workshops on April 12, 19</p></blockquote>
NYS Office for the Aging asks residents 60 and older to complete survey https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/nys-office-for-the-aging-asks-residents-60-and-older-to-complete-survey/628750 Press release:

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) urges all individuals 60+ to answer a newly launched statewide Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults (CASOA).

NYSOFA is conducting the survey in partnership with the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) and the research firm Polco. It is the first survey of its kind to be conducted statewide in New York.

Initial feedback had previously been collected through a randomly selected sample of residents who received a printed survey by mail from NYSOFA. In this second phase of the survey, all community members age 60 and over are encouraged to share their input by completing the survey online. The survey will close on March 30, 2023

NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen said, "Older adults are important to their families, communities, and the state’s economy. Our goal is to help them age successfully and keep their enormous contributions in New York State. We need older adults to provide us with feedback as we build on New York's promise as the first age-friendly state in the nation."  

AgingNY Executive Director Becky Preve said, “Data is imperative in the creation and implementation of policy and funding needs of older New Yorkers. This survey provides an opportunity for federal, state, and local governments to hear directly from residents on current and future needs to support the older population. We strongly encourage participation in this free, anonymous survey, as the results will be paramount in planning for the future.” 

The survey’s results will inform the priorities of NYSOFA as it prepares its four-year plan to the federal government. NYSOFA’s four-year plan guides service delivery and policy development for aging services that support New York’s 4.6 million older adults.

Under the direction of Governor Kathy Hochul, New York is also developing a comprehensive Master Plan for Aging(MPA). The MPA is designed to ensure that older adults and individuals of all ages can live healthy, fulfilling lives while aging with dignity and independence. While NYSOFA’s Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults is a separate initiative from the MPA process, the survey results may also provide further information to support the goals of the Master Plan for Aging. 

The Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults is being conducted in partnership with Polco, an online civic engagement platform. It is anonymous and takes only 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The survey is available in six languages by clicking the language options at the top of the survey page. 

The survey covers the following areas:

  • Overall community quality – assessing the community as a place to live and retire, whether individuals recommend the community to others, and residential stability.
  • Community and belonging – assessing views about community safety, the belief that older residents are valued in the community, and concerns about crime victimization and abuse. 
  • Community information – assessing the availability of information about older adult resources and financial or legal services.
  • Productive activities – assessing civic engagement, such as volunteering, voting, social engagement, social and religious activities, recreation, personal enrichment, caregiving, and economic contributions.
  • Health and wellness – physical health, physical fitness, mental health, emotional wellbeing, quality of life, health care, independent living, activities of daily living, and hospitalizations.
  • Community design and land use – housing variety and availability, ease of travel (by car, foot, and bus), access to daily needs, overall quality of life.
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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/nys-office-for-the-aging-asks-residents-60-and-older-to-complete-survey/628750#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/nys-office-for-the-aging-asks-residents-60-and-older-to-complete-survey/628750 Mar 19, 2023, 11:36pm Office for the Aging NYS Office for the Aging asks residents 60 and older to complete survey Press Release <p>Press release:</p> <blockquote> <p>The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) urges all individuals 60+ to answer a newly launched statewide&nbsp;<a href="https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpolco.us%2Fny23op&amp;data=05%7C01%7CRoger.Noyes%40aging.ny.gov%7Cd51b37f2a8b94b2bd46c08db22efc96f%7Cf46cb8ea79004d108ceb80e8c1c81ee7%7C0%7C0%7C638142185520769201%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&amp;sdata=fualiLrvmtK2ChpUOQWMf9hdMVijbmFITkAXt9NaL4Y%3D&amp;reserved=0">Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults (CASOA)</a>.</p> <p>NYSOFA is conducting the survey in partnership with the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) and the research firm Polco</p></blockquote>
Office for the Aging offering assistance for expanded Medicare Savings Program https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/office-for-the-aging-offering-assistance-for-expanded-medicare-savings-program/627956 Press release:

Higher-income eligibility (revised) for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) (due to higher federal poverty guidelines) in New York. Single individuals with Medicare have a gross income of up to $2,280 per month, and couples with monthly gross incomes of up to $3,077. New York State does NOT look at your assets for this program.

The MSP helps older adults and people with disabilities living on low incomes by paying their Medicare Part B premiums ($164.90 each month) and enrolling them in Extra Help, the federal prescription drug subsidy program that the Social Security Administration estimates is worth about $5,100 per year. This program lowers prescription costs and gets rid of the deductible and the “donut hole,” or gap coverage.  The financial assistance can be a lifeline, allowing enrollees to maintain their Medicare coverage, access needed care, and afford other necessities, like food and rent.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging will be holding a walk-in assistance day for anyone will be new to this program, on Wednesday, March 29th, from 2 to4 p.m.  We are located at 2 Bank Street in Batavia.  Bring with you: a birth certificate, social security card, Medicare card, License, Current (2023) Social Security award letter, and any other reoccurring income proof (weekly, monthly, or yearly).

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/office-for-the-aging-offering-assistance-for-expanded-medicare-savings-program/627956#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/office-for-the-aging-offering-assistance-for-expanded-medicare-savings-program/627956 Mar 3, 2023, 7:30am Office for the Aging Office for the Aging offering assistance for expanded Medicare Savings Program Press Release <p>Press release:</p> <blockquote> <p>Higher-income eligibility (revised) for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) (due to higher federal poverty guidelines) in New York. Single individuals with Medicare have a gross income of up to $2,280 per month, and couples with monthly gross incomes of up to $3,077. New York State does NOT look</p></blockquote>
Free program to improve body and mind offered this week at OFA in Batavia https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/free-program-to-improve-body-and-mind-offered-this-week-at-ofa-in-batavia/626555 Press Release:

The Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will offer a free event Tuesday in Batavia about how healthy habits can improve both the body and the mind.

“Healthy Living for Your Body and Brain” will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the Genesee County Office for the Aging at 2 Bank St. in Batavia. The program will cover four areas of lifestyle habits that are associated with healthy aging: cognitive activity, exercise, diet and nutrition, and social engagement.

Participants will learn, based on current research, the steps they can take now to improve or maintain overall health in each area and use hands-on tools to help incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.

Registration is recommended and can be done online HERE or by calling 800-272-3900.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, call the 24/7 Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/free-program-to-improve-body-and-mind-offered-this-week-at-ofa-in-batavia/626555#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/free-program-to-improve-body-and-mind-offered-this-week-at-ofa-in-batavia/626555 Jan 23, 2023, 12:56pm Office for the Aging Free program to improve body and mind offered this week at OFA in Batavia Press Release <p>Press Release:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Western New York Chapter of the&nbsp;Alzheimer’s Association will offer a free event Tuesday&nbsp;in Batavia about how healthy habits can improve both the body and the mind.</p> <p>“Healthy Living for Your Body and Brain” will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the&nbsp;Genesee County&nbsp;Office for</p></blockquote>
Office for the Aging offering assistance with expanded Medicare Savings Program https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/office-for-the-aging-offering-assistance-with-expanded-medicare-savings-program/626125 Press release:

Starting Jan. 1, eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) in New York expanded to single individuals with Medicare who have a gross income up to $2,107 per month and couples with monthly gross incomes up to $2,839. New York State does NOT look at your assets for this program.

The MSP helps older adults and people with disabilities living on low incomes by paying their Medicare Part B premiums ($164.90 each month) and enrolling them in Extra Help, the federal prescription drug subsidy program that the Social Security Administration estimates is worth about $5,100 per year. This program lowers prescription costs and gets rid of the deductible and the “donut hole”, or gap coverage.  The financial assistance can be a lifeline, allowing enrollees to maintain their Medicare coverage, access needed care, and afford other necessities, like food and rent.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging will be holding a walk-in assistance day for anyone will be new to this program, on Wednesday, January 25th from 1 to 4 p.m.  We are located at 2 Bank St., Batavia.  Please call ahead, so we may give you information on what you will need to have with you for proof on that day.  585-343-1611.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/office-for-the-aging-offering-assistance-with-expanded-medicare-savings-program/626125#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/office-for-the-aging-offering-assistance-with-expanded-medicare-savings-program/626125 Jan 11, 2023, 2:35pm Office for the Aging Office for the Aging offering assistance with expanded Medicare Savings Program Press Release <p>Press release:</p> <blockquote> <p>Starting Jan. 1,&nbsp;eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) in New York expanded to single individuals with Medicare who have a gross income up to $2,107 per month and couples with monthly gross incomes up to $2,839. New York State does NOT look at your assets for this</p></blockquote>
Aging in place is not impossible, but answers should be in place as well https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/aging-in-place-is-not-impossible-but-answers-should-be-in-place-as-well/625258 You’re getting older, feeling those achy joints a bit more, cursing the stairs each time you need to use them, and wishing that perhaps you had better equipped the house to accommodate the future you.    

An unlikely scenario, you say? Not for countless senior citizens locally and across New York State, according to Rebecca Preve, executive director of the Association on Aging in New York.

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“We all know that New York State is fourth in the nation in the over-60 population. In addition, census data indicate that the fastest-growing segment of the population is individuals over the age of 80. We know that the state's overall population is predicted to grow by 1.3 percent through 2040. But the 80-plus population will see growth of 42 percent,” Preve said during a Dec. 12 Senate hearing on aging-related needs. “Additionally, 70 percent of the older population will need some form of home care during their lifetime … The master plan on aging has instituted a division within the Department of Health for aging and long-term care. We are all enthusiastic about the opportunity to ensure we are looking at aging as a lifelong process, not just starting at the age of 60.”

Genesee County Office For the Aging Director Diana Fox and staff are working toward that end. The county Legislature just approved Fox’s request this past week to renew two grants with Caring Environments J&H, Inc. to assist older folks wanting to remain at home. The grant money helps seniors with expenses related to stair and vertical lifts, wheelchairs and bathroom modifications, such as revamping a bathtub into a shower. In fact, the last grant assisted six people this past year with that type of bathroom modification, she said.

A current contract with Caring Environments will extend the company's services as an installer at a cost of $140 per hour through March 11, 2024.

Your 'Future Self'
With the convergence of the largest age group to hit retirement age by 2030, issues of aging are right around the corner. And it’s about more than merely where to live, Fox said.

“It’s never too late to have those conversations, but what do you want it to look like as you age? To be able to think about where are you currently living? Where are you now to meet the needs of your future self?” she said. “How big are your doorways and hallways, can you get in and out? What is the lighting like, how do you get around, what will you need to get around? Talk to family members. Are there things you can plan for ahead of time?”

Other potential issues are maintaining the home and yard — will you need a landscaping service or at least someone to mow the lawn? Is your place too big; perhaps you need to downsize, she said. Are you near cultural, social and recreational sites to interact with the community? And last, but most importantly — are you taking care of yourself by making doctor visits, being socially connected, keeping active, eating well, and retaining healthy physical and mental well-being?

“We have staff available to have those conversations,” Fox said. “You want to have those conversations and be thinking about those things, ideally, before you hit a crisis.”

One such crisis could be the realization that those stairs are more a hindrance than a help. The grant money can go toward the related costs of a stair lift, or for a wheelchair, ramp, and bathroom modifications to, for example, install a shower when a bathtub is too difficult to use.

The Costs of Aging
The state’s masterplan needs to address the impacts of prevention, education, and accessibility,” Preve said.

“It also needs to ensure that all state government organizations are not working within silos to ensure we're an age-friendly state. As you are aware there's a rapidly growing aging population and, in conjunction with a significant rise in inflation, impacted older residents and increased demand for aging services by over 70 percent,” Preve said. “We continue to see significant waiting lists. For services, we're dealing with huge increases in the cost of raw materials, significant workforce shortages and increased customers.”

Those issues are also prevalent here, Fox said, with the home healthcare workforce being heavily dependent on a soft skill: they typically love what they do. Otherwise, the job usually requires anything from shopping and food prep to hands-on skills of dressing, toileting, eating, and such tasks to take care of one’s personal needs; strength to assist someone out of a chair or bed and when in the shower or bathroom; certification; and an acceptance of low pay in this field.

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“I think you have to have a passion for the people,” Fox said. “I think our society doesn’t really value this; it is hard work you’re doing.”

And the Office For the Aging — which uses three different agencies for home health aides — can attest to the ongoing shortage of help, she said. Either there aren’t enough workers to begin with, or they are shuffled to fill in for another staffer who is sick or takes days off. Complaints about being unable to find someone has become constant murmurs in the community.

“They have trouble with being able to fulfill the requests. I hear that people are looking for someone,” she said. “Part of it is the pay; it has been historically low, and it has been something that there has been a lot of advocacy on to increase.

“We might authorize someone to have a personal aide come in for six hours a week. We might authorize it, but then there’s not someone to provide the care; they say all of their staff is full.”

Aging in Place
That’s why the “unmet needs” grants are so crucial, she said.

Genesee County is ripe with older, two-story homes that wreak havoc with inflamed knees and stability concerns. So the question is how are people going to live out those much-touted golden years? Can you renovate the home to accommodate physical needs, search for a one-story home or apartment, be able to hire a home health care aide, or purchase some equipment to make for easier access, such as stair lifts and wheelchairs?

“It really makes a difference for people to be able to stay in their homes,” she said. “To serve this aging population in order to serve the needs of people; it’s much cheaper to keep people in their homes. I feel like it’s something we in our country don’t particularly value.”

Preve also emphasized that point. Society looks at prevention measures within alcohol and substance abuse, but not so much when it comes to one’s long-term future and services such as Medicaid.

“We don't talk enough about preventing having people spend down to Medicaid or institutional care, and that's really what we want the master plan to focus on. Aging is a lifelong process. How can we make sure that we're targeting people in their 30s with high blood pressure because we know that that's going to impact Alzheimer's disease when they're in their later years?” Preve said. “So it really needs to be a cohesive thought process to ensure that we allow individuals to age in place and that we keep them off Medicaid because we know Medicaid is not sustainable at the current level.”

Mastering the Aging Process
To assist with aging in place, the OFA’s services include retirement planning seminars, tax help, and a Handyman Program, plus an Aging Mastery program twice a year — with the next one scheduled for February.

This program focuses on how to plan for getting older and living comfortably in one’s post-retirement years, Fox said.

“We spend a lot of time in our older years,” she said.

To learn more, sign up for the OFA’s newsletter by going HERE or calling 585-343-1611.

Top Photo of Rebecca (Becky) Preve, executive director of the Association on Aging in New York, from an online post; and File Photo of Diana Fox, director of Genesee County Office for the Aging, during a county meeting, by Joanne Beck.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/aging-in-place-is-not-impossible-but-answers-should-be-in-place-as-well/625258#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/aging-in-place-is-not-impossible-but-answers-should-be-in-place-as-well/625258 Dec 19, 2022, 8:00pm Office for the Aging Aging in place is not impossible, but answers should be in place as well jfbeck_99_272012 <p>You’re getting older, feeling those achy joints a bit more, cursing the stairs each time you need to use them, and wishing that perhaps you had better equipped the house to accommodate the future you.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>An unlikely scenario, you say? Not for countless senior citizens locally and across New</p>