Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Office for the Aging

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.

February 4, 2021 - 3:12pm
posted by Press Release in Office for the Aging, news, COVID-19.

Press release:

Due to COVID-19, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide tax preparation program had to make significant changes for everyone’s safety. Ultimately, it has resulted in a much smaller program this year. 

At this time, all available appointments are full. It is hoped that additional appointments can be added, but again, the demand will likely exceed the offering.  Should more appointments become available, we will send out a press release.  

Individuals seeking free tax services may visit the AARP.org website to locate other Tax-Aide program locations nearby in Erie and Monroe counties. 

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide also offers taxpayers several options to prepare their own returns. Available options include self-preparation using free software, and facilitated self-preparation involving assistance or coaching from Tax-Aide IRS-certified Counselors. Self-preparation options are available by visiting this website.

Others may qualify for free-filing of federal returns by visiting http://www.irs.gov.  

For those without computer access, the Office for the Aging staff is able to provide additional tax preparation resources and can be reached at (585) 343-1611.  

We are fortunate to have a way to safely operate this program, even at reduced capacity. The program will continue to do all it can to serve the community.  

This AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program is made possible through the dedication of AARP Foundation/RSVP AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteers, in partnership with the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

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.

December 24, 2020 - 12:52pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging’s Home Delivered Meals program offers a nutritionally balanced, hot meal at lunchtime, up to five days per week. The meals are delivered with a smile by dedicated RSVP volunteers and Office for the Aging staff.

Each person receives ongoing case management, an important piece of the program, which supports their health and independence in the community.   

This week, due to the generosity of a local couple’s bequest, a local dentist and his wife, and individuals employed by Genesee County government, the older adults participating in the program were treated to a holiday gift bag.

The Office for the Aging has seen tremendous growth in the program; a 55-percent increase since the beginning of the pandemic. The support of the local community has been tremendous and necessary to meet the demand.

During this season of giving, the office wishes to thank everyone involved in making this program one that the community can depend on.   

If you wish to support the Home Delivered Meals program by volunteering or donating, please call (585) 343-1611 or email [email protected].

More volunteers are particularly needed to deliver meals in the City of Batavia at this time.

Financial donations to the Genesee Senior Foundation Inc., a nonprofit affiliated with the Office for the Aging, are always appreciated.

December 1, 2020 - 12:31pm

The Human Services and Ways & Means committees of the Genesee County Legislature on Monday recommended the appointments of several persons to the Mental Health Community Services Board and the Office for the Aging Advisory Council.

Batavians James Owen and MaryElla Loos were reappointed to the mental health board, with their terms expiring on Dec. 31, 2024.

Three persons were appointed to assume three vacant positions on the same board.

They are Dr. Mary Obear of Corfu (through Aug. 14, 2022), Kathleen Antonelli of Batavia (through Dec. 31, 2021) and Diana Fox of Holley (through Dec. 31, 2022).

Fox is the current director of the Office for the Aging.

Each will receive a $40 stipend per meeting.

Margaret Weissend, RN, director of rural branch operations for Kaleida Health, was reappointed to a voluntary seat on the Office for the Aging Advisory Council for a three-year term, effective Jan. 1.

In a separate matter, Legislator Gary Maha commended Matt Worth on his retirement after nearly 34 years as a City of Batavia employee, the last six as public works director.

“I worked very closely (with Matt) on a number of issues here with the county – such as the water agreement and sales tax agreement – and as a member of the Genesee County Water Resources Agency. He is a wealth of information.”

Worth’s last official day is Jan. 15.

November 3, 2020 - 10:31am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Office for the Aging.

In 10 short years, all baby boomers will be 65 years of age or older. That bit of information about Americans born between the years of 1946 and 1964 is much more than a mere statistic to Diana Fox, director of the Genesee County Office for the Aging.

It represents the fact that the demographics of the county are showing an increasingly aging population – and it presents new challenges for the agency as it continues to provide a variety of services for seniors.

Fox, during a departmental review Monday at the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee meeting, said she and her staff are considering the best ways to meet the needs of residents in the 65-and-over age group, which is expected to exceed 15,000 – about a fourth of the county’s population -- in 2030.

In her seven-page report, Fox said the OFA’s priorities include: the need for home care workers; funding for home-delivered meals; navigating the health insurance system; and dealing with rising health care costs; assessing senior citizens’ housing requirements; and exploring the impact of opioids (prescription medication) on older adults.

“Even with COVID, the numbers continue to rise,” concerning caregivers who need help and request for meals, Fox said, reporting that the median age in Genesee County is 43.3, with many of those in that age group falling into the “caregiver” category (also known as the “Sandwich Generation”).

Fox said the OFA coordinated the delivery of more than 30,000 meals to residents’ homes this year (frozen, sandwich and emergency meals), but “getting food out to people will (continue to) be a challenge … so we are investigating other opportunities.”

She said some communities partner with restaurants to deliver meals, but it has to be worthwhile for restaurant owners for it to be successful.

“Housing is a need,” she said, noting that older adults have to consider whether a ranch home would be better than an up-and-down dwelling.

“It’s important that we continue to work on building our county to be more livable, as well as creating more home and community-based supports and options, ranging from housing to in-home care to keeping older adults in our county so they may live out meaningful lives in settings with services that meet their needs,” she wrote.

Along those lines, Fox said that home care aide availability is “critically low nationwide,” and while the OFA has access to state “Unmet Needs” funding, it’s “not going to solve the overall problem of those who truly need in-home aides to help with personal care.”

Fox said the OFA offers wellness and recreation programs to address social isolation issues and services that include review of health insurance options and eligibility for benefits, but more support is needed as premiums and prescription drug costs increase and chronic health conditions worsen.

She said the OFA is “partnering with the community” (with agencies such as Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and the Department of Social Services) to identify the various problems stemming from the use of opioids such as oxycodone.

On a positive note, she said that her department has not been informed of a 20-percent cut in state aid, which seems to be affecting most programs and municipalities, but she is concerned by several potential retirements of OFA staff members in the next few years.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging proposed budget for 2021 shows total appropriation of $2,070,640, with $1,580,316 in revenue and $490,324 in support from the county. With a staff of 21.8 full-time equivalent, salaries and fringe benefits make up about 64 percent of the budget.

October 30, 2020 - 3:07pm

Press release:

The Home Energy Assistance Program -- HEAP -- opens Monday, Nov. 2, for all new applicants.

Each year, Genesee County Office for the Aging assists older adults and persons with disabilities with HEAP applications.

This year, it is strongly recommended that you apply online at myBenefits.ny.gov. If you do not have a computer or lack to skills to apply online, you may pick up a blank application in the front entryway of our building.

If you need assistance or have questions about filling out the application, please call 343-1611 for a phone appointment. Once you have completed your application, you can either drop off or mail it in to our location, 2 Bank St. in Downtown Batavia.

Please remember to include all necessary documentation and identification for all household members.

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. 

September 16, 2020 - 1:16pm
posted by Press Release in HEAP 2021, Office for the Aging, COVID-19, news.

From the GC Office for the Aging:

Each year, Office for the Aging assists older adults with their applications for HEAP -- Home Energy Assistance Program.

If you received your preprinted application in the mail for the 2020-2021 season, please send it to Office for the Aging at 2 Bank St., Batavia, NY 14020.

It is important to include all current income information and year-to-date interest and dividends earned on any accounts.

If you have specific questions about your application, please call (585) 343-1611 for assistance.

Due to COVID-19, we are not able to meet with walk-ins.

July 30, 2020 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Office for the Aging, news, Seniors, farmers market.

From the Genesee County Office for the Aging:

There is now a waiting list for the Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons.

Please call 343-1611 to be placed on the list. You will be informed of the date and location of when we will be handing them out.

If you have mobility concerns, you may send another person on your behalf. Please provide this person with a note. 

You must be on the list to receive a booklet of coupons.  

First come, first served.

Walk-ins at Office for the Aging on Bank Street in Batavia will not be accepted.

April 13, 2020 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Office for the Aging, news, Meals on Wheels.

Press release:

For any Genesee County resident 60 years of age and older in need of food, please call NY Connects/Office for the Aging at (585) 343-1611, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. for assistance.

Office for the Aging not only offers home-delivered meals for those who qualify, but also helps individuals connect with other resources.

NY Connects/Office for the Aging staff continues to work with community partners to identify resources in every community in Genesee County.

“We are aware that some older adults who normally would not need our assistance, are finding that in this situation, they are part of the 'vulnerable' population and really need to stay indoors for their safety," said Diana Fox, director of the Office for the Aging. "We hope they will reach out to us so that we can help during this unusual time.”

Dorian Ely, services administrator at Office for the Aging added, “We have seen an increase in demand, but we have excellent partnerships with ARC, The Salvation Army, and FoodLink. In addition, we have received assistance from Star Growers, Harrington’s Produce, and Ferrell Gas. With these resources and others, we have been able to increase our normal capacity.”

If you or your organization has resources to share with the elderly in our county, please let Office for the Aging know by calling (585) 343-1611 or email [email protected]

If you wish to make a donation to the Meals on Wheels program, please send to Genesee Senior Foundation, 2 Bank St., Batavia, NY 14020.

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.

March 15, 2020 - 7:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Office for the Aging, congregate meals.

From the Genesee County Office for the Aging:

All congregate (group) meal sites are cancelled at this time. Home-delivered meal service will continue.

Diana Fox, LCSW

Director-Genesee County Office for the Aging

January 23, 2020 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Office for the Aging, Ruth Spink.

Submitted photo and press release:

Ruth Spink attended her last monthly management meeting Jan. 15th before retiring from the Genesee County Office for the Aging where she served as director.

Before reading a retirement commendation, Genesee County District #9 Legislator Gary Maha shared memories of when he met Spink years ago.

County Manager Jay Gsell thanked Spink for her dedication to ensuring quality, relevant services were provided to Genesee County’s senior and disabled population. He went on to say, “Ruth recognized the value of older adults, their wisdom and experience, and worked tirelessly to embrace the positives of aging.”

Spink began her employment with OFA as the aging services specialist in 1994 and was promoted to services administrator in 2001.

She went to work at the Genesee County Nursing Home as a supervisor before returning to OFA in 2006 where her vision for the department was to become more of a long-term care support system for the county, as well as a resource for information and referral. Spink took great care to empower OFA employees and began an informal cross-training program to allow employees to learn aspects of different jobs.

Nearly all County department heads and supervisors were on hand to congratulate Spink. It was bittersweet for all who heard for the last time how much she loved working for Genesee County.

Top photo, from left, Legislator Gary Maha, OFA Director Ruth Spink, Legislature Chair Rochelle M. Stein, Legislator Gordon Dibble.

January 9, 2020 - 10:19am
posted by Virginia Kropf in Office for the Aging, news.

Photo: Ruth Spink, left, director of the Genesee County Office for the Aging for the last five years, with her successor, Diana Fox, of Clarendon. 

Ruth Spink has no earth-shattering reason for deciding to retire now – other than “It is time.”

“It’s time to spend more time with my family. It is time to travel,” said Spink, who has worked at the Genesee County Office for the Aging for 25 years, the last five years as director.

And she is delighted to be turning over the reins to Diana Fox, who has a career in human services.

Fox, who lives in Clarendon with her husband Bill Fox, grew up in Batavia and Byron, a daughter of Larry and Jerianne Barnes. She graduated from Byron-Bergen High School, then obtained an associate degree in education from Genesee Community College. She got her bachelor’s degree in community and human service at Empire State College and a master’s in social work from the University of Buffalo.

She has worked as a counselor with Planned Parenthood for nine years and at the YWCA for five years as a domestic violence coordinator. She left there to complete her master’s of social work. She got her post-graduate degree at Brockport State College and then worked for nine years at Orleans County Mental Health.

She has known Spink since the 1990s, and became more acquainted with her through attending Leadership Genesee in 2002. 

“Every Friday, they send a tidbit to all the alumni,” Fox said. “Ruth had graduated from the program in 2007, and she announced last July she was retiring and they would be looking for her successor. I respect her so much and I was excited about the ability to train with Ruth.”

Fox was hired as deputy director in August and she will step into the director’s position when Spink officially retires Jan. 17.

Fox said she plans “business as usual" when she steps into Spink’s shoes. 

“I just want to maintain the services and expectations people have of the Office for the Aging,” Fox said. “Demographically, our population is aging, and the services we provide are going to be more in demand than ever.”

Fox stressed the Office for the Aging provides all kinds of vital services and information, not only to seniors, but to their families and caregivers.

Fox also shared she has had Type I diabetes since she was a child, and has a service dog by her side constantly. Her mini golden doodle Daisy has warned her several times of an impending diabetic attack. 

Fox said when people see Daisy, they tend to want to pet her or get her attention, and that is the worst thing they can do.

“When Daisy is distracted, she is less apt to be able to do her job and detect if I’m having a spell,” Fox said. 

She said the best thing to do when anyone greets Fox is to just ignore Daisy.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Below, Diana Fox sits with her service dog Daisy.


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.

October 17, 2019 - 11:10am
posted by Billie Owens in Office for the Aging, RSVP, volunteers, news.

Press release:

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program is gearing up to provide tax preparation services for the 2019 tax season. The program is seeking a few more volunteers to assist in the preparation of federal and state tax returns for low- to moderate-income individuals.  

This is a wonderful growth opportunity for people interested in learning new skills, meeting new people and is a fulfilling way to help meet essential community needs.

A fantastic training program will be provided at the Genesee County Office for the Aging weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on: Monday, Jan. 13th; Friday, Jan. 17th; Wednesday, Jan. 22nd; Friday, Jan. 24th; and Wednesday, Jan. 29th.

Volunteers must pass a proficiency exam before working in teams of two, with tax appointments running from Feb. 3rd - April 15.

In 2019, a small group of dedicated RSVP volunteers served more than 1,200 households, providing peace of mind along with tax filings. Many people return year after year to get their taxes done. The volunteers are known for their helpful, professional and thorough manner. The program is provided at no cost, but donations are gratefully accepted. 

You don’t have to be a tax expert. If you’ve been known to complete your own tax returns from time to time or maybe consider yourself a “numbers” person, please call Courtney Iburi, RSVP coordinator, at (585) 343-1611 to learn more.  

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break